To help immigrants who have been detained, the organization United We Dream, which is led by young immigrants, and digital agency Huge developed the Notifica app. When immigrants are detained by ICE their families and loved ones might not even know what happened, but Notifica aims to change that.
“You have the right to be prepared,” says the app’s site. “Be prepared with Notifica, an app that sends out secure messages to your support network when you need it most.”
How The Notifica App Works
With Notifica, users can select contacts they want to notify in case they are taken by ICE. The app allows users to set up a personalized notification to each recipient, for example, a message to your mom or sibling would be different than the one you send to your attorney. After you write the preloaded messages, others will not have access to them and will not be able to read them. There is also a pin that seals off the messages in case your device is lost or stolen.
If the user is taken by ICE, a single click will send all messages via text in less than two seconds. Huge has also launched a phone hotline for those who don’t have a phone in reach but may be able to make a call afterwards.
The app will debut this week at SXSW in Austin, Texas, but individuals can sign up on the site to get notified on the launch. Huge and United We Dream will share the app to families in states such as Texas, Florida and New Mexico or other places with large immigrant communities.
Throughout Donald Trump’s campaign he spoke harshly about undocumented immigrants in the United States, pledged to carry out mass deportations and promised to build a wall to keep people from entering the U.S. from the southern border.
President Trump signed an immigration executive order shortly after taking office, spurring panic among the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country. The law makes it easier for officials to investigate an immigrant suspected of posing "a risk to public safety. Before the law, immigrants in the U.S. had been categorized as “removable aliens” if they had previously been convicted of a crime. However, Trump’s new order now includes low-level crimes, such as marijuana possessions and DUIs.