Illegal immigration featured in controversial iPhone game


Smuggle Truck players drive a truck full of illegal immigrants across the U.S. border.

Coming soon to iPhones, iPads, and the Internet is a little game known as Smuggle Truck: Operation Immigration, the “premiere smuggling game on the App Store”.

Created by Alex Schwartz under the new name of Owlchemy Labs, the game’s objective is simple: drive an old pick-up truck filled with illegal immigrants over huge hills, jumps and bumps to the border of a country with as few casualties as possible.

Watch out for armadillos, dynamite, and babies falling from the sky that need to be caught. Winners get green cards. Harmless fun, right?

Apparently not to some. After a 30-second teaser was unveiled recently, Smuggle Truck has drawn outrage from immigrants and immigration activists, who believe the game is offensive and insensitive to the plights of real immigrants.

“I don’t think it’s a very nice game, in light of what’s happened in the past, with the smugglers and the immigrants and all the terrible things that have happened,” St. Edward’s University Spanish professor Regina Faunes said.

Others consider it to be controversial, but in the end, nothing but a satirical farce. Freshman Roy Isaac Johnson called it “so wrong, in all the right ways.”

Junior John Turner said it was offensive, but thought it could have been worse.

“I think it is offensive, but they could have made it more offensive,” Turner said.

According, Schwartz was inspired to create the game after his friend experienced trouble trying to legally immigrate to the United States.

Schwartz added that he anticipated a potential blowup.

“Throughout the creation of the game, we maintained a meticulous eye to avoid depicting stereotypes and specific locales. Through user testing and feedback from fellow developers and even random strangers, we worked to represent the game in a more abstracted form,” Schwartz said on

“If we didn’t care about those who lost their lives struggling to immigrate, we wouldn’t have created this game,” Owlchemy Labs said in a press Q&A on the Owlchemy Labs website.

Smuggle Truck: Operation Immigration is slated to be released next month, and so far, Apple and the other app stores have said nothing about this game. Apple does hold the right to bar the game from being sold, so the controversy will continue.