POLITICS

Xbox habit earns immigrant legal status

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

Don’t ever let your mom tell you playing video games doesn’t pay off. One Wisconsin 25-year-old was recently granted legal status through President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program thanks entirely to his long history of online Xbox gaming. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

Like so many other undocumented youth, [Jose] Muñoz came to the States with his family from Mexico when he was just 1. … He helped his family around the house, cut the grass, shoveled snow and baby-sat his little brother. And he would play sports video games – a lot. … Then last summer, President Barack Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals for those in situations just like Muñoz’s – people who came here before they were 16 and were under 31 on June 15, 2012. For those qualified, deferred action allows them to remain in the country for two years and work and go to school without fear of deportation. It’s renewable after two years.

But to qualify a person also has to prove continuous residency in the country since June 2007. That proved problematic. Most can provide high school transcripts, work records, rent receipts, medical records or other documents that provide a paper trail to establish continuous residency, he said. Because Muñoz graduated in 2005 and hadn’t worked, he didn’t have that documentation for 2007 on. He lived at home and didn’t have medical records to back up his residency.

Then Munoz’s immigration lawyer, a gamer himself, asked Jose if he had any online accounts. He did. Munoz had been downloading games and communicating with other gamers through his Xbox Live account for years. Munoz printed out his Xbox Live records, signed a notarized affidavit stating that they were “true and correct copies of my Xbox purchase history” and sent them along with his deferred action application.

Two months later, Munoz got an answer from the Obama administration granting him legal status.

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