RIO GRANDE CITY, RGV – The ACLU Border Rights Center, the ACLU of Texas and Quadrant 2, Inc, has announced the launch of MigraCam, a smartphone application designed to help people living in “over-policed communities.”
The announcement comes just a couple of weeks after President Trump said he was sending the National Guard to states in the southwest to help with border security.
Through the new app, immigrants and border residents can send video evidence of enforcement actions to their family members via email and text.
Astrid Dominguez, director of the ACLU’s Border Rights Center, said the MigraCam features include a video with Know Your Rights information, location sharing, customizable pre-filled message, and notifications. She said the app is free on the Android and iTunes app stores in English and Spanish and can be used in border regions and across the United States.
“We are living through a dark period in our history where immigration authorities harass our border residents, profile people on buses, break up families, deport veterans, raid homes and businesses, and incarcerate children and pregnant women,” said Dominguez said.
“Policymakers have not done enough to protect our immigrant communities, so we have to give those communities the tools to defend themselves. With MigraCam, people will have the power not only to alert families, friends and loved ones of their location when an incident occurs, they will also be able to start streaming video evidence seconds after the raid or stop begins.”
Denny George is director of mobile platforms for Quadrant 2, Inc., the company that created MigraCam.
“Interaction with a law enforcement agency can be a fearful experience for immigrants like me,” George said. “This is especially true for those who are already under attack in the current political climate. We at Quadrant 2 created MigraCam to make it really easy for people to start live streaming any such interaction to their trusted loved ones. Our app also makes sure that regardless of the internet connectivity or the device being confiscated, the video is reliably delivered to the intended contacts.”
To learn more about the app, click here.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Subcommittee on Homeland Security and Defense, has issued a new statement about the National Guard being deployed on the southwest border.
“U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis signed a memorandum this past Saturday that approved U.S. Customs Border Protection’s (CBP) request for 12,000 flight hours or light helicopter support and the deployment of 1,343 ground support National Guard personnel for the southwest border. The memorandum clearly states that National Guard personnel will not conduct law enforcement activities on the border and will not be assigned any missions that require them to be armed,” said Cuellar, D-Laredo.
“Currently in my state, we have a total of 687 Texas National Guard personnel, who are mobilized along the Texas southwest border providing surveillance, ground reconnaissance, intelligence analysis, maintenance, and training in support of CBP. These National Guardsmen are under the control of the Governor to support normal Southwest Border Homeland Security operations— not for building a wall.”
Cuellar pointed out that in the 2018 Omnibus Apportions Act, he helped secure $19 million in funding for the National Guard, specifically to support border security efforts by performing some of the non-law enforcement duties currently being performed by Border Patrol agents.
He said these funds helped put badges back to the border.
“I will continue to support sensible policies that will utilize our National Guard, in a responsible capacity,” Cuellar said.
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above story was taken by Loren Elliott for Reuters.