Torn Apart is part of our Mobilized Humanities interventions. MH brings together digital tools to equip broad social awareness and help in global critical situations. We mobilize humanities faculties, libraries, and students with relevant language, archival, technical, and social expertise to nimbly produce curated and applied knowledge. MH sits away from state and non-governmental organizations and is scholarly activism in a global context.

Torn Apart is a result of intense 6-day collaboration between xpMethod (Manan Ahmed, Alex Gil, Moacir P. de Sá Pereira, Roopika Risam), Borderlands Archives Cartography (Maira E. Álvarez, Sylvia A. Fernández), Linda Rodriguez, and Merisa Martinez. A special acknowledgment for Moacir P. de Sá Pereira who hand-cranked the code for everything here.

Our Team


We began with ICE/CBP websites and got the public geo-data that they serve. We then began looking into business records, federal records, and news records culling data about locations used by federal, state, and private for-profit agencies. Simultaneously, we were assembling data about “Allies”– those working to resist, assist, or alleviate this crisis. However, our largest data tranche came via our discovery of the “November 2017 ICE Detention Facility Lists”, which exists because of the FOIA efforts of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and the National Immigrant Justice Center. Our visualizations thus combine these sets of data. We are extremely grateful to ILRC and NIJC for making the ICE data publicly available. Our full sources of data are in the bibliography. For access to our data set, please email


We want to acknowledge the work of Josh Begley’s Prison Map: What does the geography of incarceration for United States look like? for inspiring our “The Eye”.

The website is based on @muziejus/leaflet-quickstart, a GitHub repository that lets learners build much, much simpler maps online quickly. But it would not be possible without the efforts of everyone who has ever written a tutorial or answered a question about programming online. It makes use of the following open technologies:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (2018).