Students create app to warn about ICE agents on campus
Students at “Freedom University,” an unofficial college for illegal immigrants, have developed a mobile alert service to warn of the presence of immigration enforcement agents on campus.
The creators of the service—called “Melt Ice” in reference to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency—have already established a presence at several universities and colleges in the Atlanta area, including the Georgia Institute of Technology, CBS 46 reports.
The student “investigators” at each school will watch for reports of ICE agents on campus, attempt to verify those they come across, and then send out official alerts to those who have downloaded the app.
The app is currently supported by 10 investigators, and has a list of hundreds of student subscribers.
Laura Emiko Soltis, the executive director of Freedom University, told CBS 46 that students did not develop the app in order to break the law or avoid federal authorities, though a spokesperson for ICE noted that this would be unnecessary, insofar as the agency does not conduct immigration enforcement at schools.
"There's nothing about avoiding officials,” she asserted. “It is making sure citizens and community members know when there's an interaction between ICE and undocumented students. That is not a crime.”
The students behind the alert system reportedly developed the app in an effort to push back against House Bill 37, a measure that prohibits private academic institutions from implementing policies that protect illegal immigrants.
Dubbed “an underground college for undocumented immigrants” by The New Yorker, Freedom University initially made its mark by offering “free tuition” to illegal immigrant students in response to the Georgia statute requiring students to verify their “lawful presence” in the state when applying to public colleges and universities.
“We provide rigorous college-level classes, scholarship assistance, and leadership development for undocumented students in Georgia,” the organization wrote on its website in 2016, glossing over its lack of formal accreditation.
Freedom University did not immediately respond to Campus Reform’s request for a comment.
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