Inspiration

Over the course of the past week, more than 650 individuals have been arrested or deported in the United States as a result of their immigration status. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents, empowered by the political situation, are raiding churches, low-income neighborhoods, and courts and deporting individuals without proper due process or concern for the splitting of families.

What it does

RaidAlert combines information from the National Immigration Law Center and a twitter scraping classification algorithm to alert concerned people within a specified radius. The user gets a text detailing the location of the incident, with information about how many people were affected so that they can avoid the area and protect their own rights before they are seized. An ideal user could be a mother of 4 who arrived in the US at 16 who is now worried she will be taken from her children with no legal recourse, could be a journalist striving to obtain the best possible information in real time, or even a politician concerned about their constituents.

How we built it

The entire backend is built in R and is running on a scheduled domino server. The twitter scraping tool is running on an AWS instance, and holding the data in S3, and is running through a sentiment analysis in R. All of the mapping is done through leaflet and a custom geocode package using census data and the Google map API, and the website is built in javascript. The database of users has all of the PII removed, and it held on Google's servers.

Challenges we ran into

Neither of the members of the team had much experience in the creation or querying of MongoDB, and so we had to hack out a solution that was less than desirable aesthetically.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Coding like a pirate (always in RRRRRR), not being corrupted by FSU, and wearing as little garnet as possible.

What we learned

Twitter is annoying and Twitter bots are unbelievably easy to create

What's next for RaidAlert

We got in connection with the policy director at the National Immigration Law Center and have scheduled a google hangout for next Thursday

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