Want to disregard America's sovereignty and cross our Southern border illegally? There's an app for that.
At the end of January, a teaser video and a website promoting an app called "Bienvenidos" ("Welcome") appeared and quickly disappeared online, reported Vice's Motherboard. The promotional video and site has been restored, and the app will now reportedly be up and running sometime this year.
"Bienvenidos is the world’s first community-based navigation app for immigration," boasts the site. "Using crowdsourced data from users, Bienvenidos provides real-time info about the best immigration routes to cross the U.S.-Mexico Border."
"Bienvenidos is dedicated to making immigration easier and safer for those looking to enter or reenter the United States," the site says. "By connecting immigrants to one another, we hope to make border crossing simpler and easier, improving the quality of everyone’s journey. Imagine the power of handily avoiding Border Patrol agents, saving time with faster immigration routes, and keeping tabs on the construction of the border wall and its vulnerabilities. All from the palm of your hand."
The proposed app would apparently track U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and drones in real time and provide the best routes for users looking to illegally cross the Southern border. Bienvenidos would notify potential illegals of "Border Patrol agents, drones, ground sensors, and hidden camera locations," as well as providing "updates in real-time on the status of the new border wall construction," says the site.
"Get reports on vulnerable areas along current fences and barricades, like openings, lack of barbed wiring, and flimsy construction. Share tunneling locations and conditions," it says.
One need only to enter their location into the app to receive the best route to enter America illegally. And users are encouraged to "actively contribute real-time data by sharing information like Border Patrol traps, extreme weather conditions, hazards, and other notifications about what’s ahead."
Since the app has yet to be active, the authenticity of the project has been questioned. But those behind the app contend it's real.
"Yes, Bienvenidos is real and currently in development," an individual speaking on behalf the proposed app told Motherboard via email. "Whether it’s Dreamers or DACA recipients being deported by force, or people attempting to enter the United States for the first time, Bienvenidos attempts to make border crossing simpler, safer, and faster, improving the quality of everyone’s journey," said the rep, who asked to remain anonymous "given the highly sensitive subject matter that our app engages in."
Mike Isaac, a technology reporter from The New York Times, received an email alerting him to the new app in late January, before receiving an email explaining that the "announcement" of the project would be delayed. "All content has been taken down and currently unavailable," said the second email.
The restored site can be viewed here, offered in both English and Spanish translations.