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Developers Create 'Panic Button' For Immigrants Being Detained

Mar 13, 2017
Originally published on March 22, 2017 9:46 am
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

That black three-ring binder is one way to do it. Later this week, a more high-tech version by the digital design agency Huge is launching. Developer Natalia Margolis says she got the idea after talking with an advocate for people here illegally.

NATALIA MARGOLIS: 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.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The app called Notifica will serve as a one-stop beacon for people suddenly facing arrest or deportation, a sort of panic button if immigration agents come to the door.

MARGOLIS: Someone still needs to pick up your kids. You need to contact your lawyer immediately. You need to let your friends and loved ones know. 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.

CORNISH: Margolis and her team are working with the advocacy group United We Dream to spread the word.

MARGOLIS: Hopefully people can talk about this at places of worship, at community centers, local organizations. So we're hoping there will be a kind of grassroots spread.

SIEGEL: Natalia Margolis says she also expects word to get around to kids who can help their parents download and set up Notifica. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.