With New App, Immigrants Can Alert Friends Of ICE Raids Instantly

With a new version of the app in Spanish, the startup's founder hopes to help victims of ICE raids issue mass warnings to friends and family.

As President Donald Trump's new deportation policies cause United States immigrants to live in fear, new technologies are coming to the rescue.

An app meant to help people in need is now available in Spanish.

Cell 411  hopes to aid undocumented immigrants seeking the help of others either before, during, or after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid, the company's press release reveals.

According to Cell 411's founder, Virgil Vaduva, he found himself in a similar situation as he was arrested during an anti-police brutality protest.

At the time, he felt he had no means to contact his family and friends to let them know where he was and what had happened. In order to help others who are afraid of being under the same circumstance in an America where Donald Trump is president, he came up with the Cell 411 app.

The feature works by allowing users to “organize themselves in regional 'cells' or groups which are decentralized and managed by the users themselves.”

Once a user is in distress, an alert will be sent to members of his or her cell. These individuals are then given information regarding the user's location and the nature of the problem at hand.

The technology works by sending the user's GPS coordinates to trusted members “with turn by turn direction to their location,” the company's press release reads. The app also allows users to record video and have it distributed to friends immediately or streamed to YouTube and Facebook. This could help those who are afraid of having evidence erased by law enforcement.

Vaduva, who's also an immigrant, hopes to give tools to individuals, neighbors, friends, and families that will help them organize themselves without having to reach out to law enforcement or other state agencies.

While the app could give undocumented immigrants an extra hand since a Spanish version was just launched, it's also a tool that gives users the power to send alerts about other emergencies. They include medical issues, vehicle problems, crime, police abuse, and others. In any case, this app could help minorities all across the country.

This is certainly a great way to help struggling communities. Under Trump, many are afraid of having their rights violated — and they can use all the help they get.

We certainly approve this type of initiative and hope the word gets out to as many people as possible.

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Mike Segar

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