Whatever your thoughts are on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, many young immigrants are taking advantage of the opportunity to go from illegal to legal residency status. However, some are finding the requirement to show proof of residency since 2007 a little tough. Take for example the story of Jose Muñoz.
Jose came to the US with his parents when he was only one year old. He grew up, went to school and was a big help for his family. When he learned of the opportunity to become a legal resident through the Deferred Action program, he was excited. However, because he had no education or work records showing he had lived in the US since 2007, he thought he was out of luck.
He met all of the requirements. He had no criminal record, graduated from high school with honors and lived here since the age of 1. 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.
But all was not lost. As it turns out, Jose was an avid gamer, specifically on the Xbox 360. For many years, he had racked up a traceable history through his purchases and communications with other XBox users. All that information was tied to his physical address and other identifiable information. As attorney Davorin Odrcic put it:
Then it dawned on me that he may have some record of the games he had purchased or something that shows he's been here since 2007.
He sent me the proof of this that had his address, his account information and proof of all the games he had downloaded or purchased since 2007. It worked perfectly to establish that he's been here continuously.
Because of this record, Jose now has a driver's license, two jobs and a car. Things he was unable to do before gaining legal residency. As for his future plans, Jose had this to say.
I work seven days a week, but that's OK because I'm saving money to go to school and help my family.
After all that time that I was so bored, now I don't like having a day off. I've had enough days off. I can finally do what I want to do because nothing is holding me back.
Game Politics Correspondent E. Zachary Knight