This App Promises To Help People Alert Others About Ice Raids
These days, there’s pretty much an app for everything. Dating. Got it. Walking Dogs. Sure thing. ICE raids? Yep, that too. A new app called Notifica is designed to warn people of ICE raids in their area, providing them with crucial time-saving options to protect those they love most. Thanks to Adrian Reyna and Natalia Margolis’ shared desire to protect those vulnerable to President Trump’s policies, the app will be available on April 10th.
Notificia was partially conceived by Adrian Reyna of immigrant’s rights advocacy group United We Dream.
Adrian Reyna, the Director of Membership & Technology Strategies at United We Dream, had been kicking around the idea for the app for a while. As Trump gathered momentum during the 2016 campaign, Reyna, a DACA recipient, saw the writing on the wall, Rolling Stone reports. Reyna, who came with his parents from Mexico, understood the uncertainty immigrants face living undocumented in the U.S. He wanted to do something about it.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Reyna explained the panic that the undocumented face when ICE shows up unannounced.
— Adrian I. Reyna (@isaiasreyna) March 22, 2017
As Reyna told The Rolling Stone:
[ICE] shows up unannounced to neighborhoods, public spaces and work places, most people think, ‘Oh, you can run away,’ but that’s not the case for many [undocumented] immigrants. It paralyzes you. You go into shock. In that moment, you have to think about all of the multiple intricacies: What are they going to do? Who should I call? What should I tell them? Having to sort through all of that in a moment of fear is impossible.
As Fox News reports, Reyna has had several family members deported.
So when Reyna met Natalia Margolis, a software engineer at the San Francisco based HUGE, the two decided to make Notifica a reality.
— Natalia S. Margolis (@nmargolis89) March 13, 2017
While Reyna brought understanding of immigration advocacy and the needs of the undocumented community, Margolis had the technical know-how to bring this app to life. According to Rolling Stone, Margolis was able to develop a prototype for the app in just 24 hours. Margolis explained how the app meets the needs of the undocumented in an interview with NPR:
Undocumented immigrants already have networks that they can activate in case of an emergency, and they wanted a way to be able to activate those networks quickly.
He explained why an app would be more effective than texting:
And there’s often not enough time to send out all of those messages at once. So this app lets you have a plan in place and lets you activate those messages immediately with the press of one button.
Notifica offers users several options to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Notifica is not a panic button – it is a an app to empower people to take their destiny into their own hands. Visit https://t.co/3fUF39qZO5
— Adrian I. Reyna (@isaiasreyna) March 14, 2017
As Fox News reports, Notifica users will have the option to almost instantly send 15 SMS messages pre-selected contacts. The messages will be PIN protected and they will delete from the phone as soon as they are opened. The user can set up custom messages so each recipient gets the most relevant information. As Reyna explained to Rolling Stone, “The app will help individuals think of these things way ahead of time before they happen and reduce the action that someone has to take in a moment to one simple thing.”
Notifica is free to download and will be available on April 10th. Fox News reports that over 8,000 people have already registered to download the app once it goes online.