Meet Jose Muñoz: The Man Who Used Xbox to Keep From Being Deported
You don’t need a law degree from a fancy college to craft a good legal defense. If you’re Jose Muñoz, all you need is an Xbox.
Muñoz was brought to America from Mexico by his parents as a 1-year-old, but his parents never went home when their work visas expired. This means that the Muñoz family—including little Jose—was still in the country illegally.
Jose’s family settled in Sheboygan, WI where he graduated from high school with honors in 2005. But, without being a legal citizen, Jose couldn’t find a steady job or afford to go to college. He helped out around the house and baby-sat his younger brother, but spent most of his time battling boredom and depression by playing Xbox.
"I was just vegging, but I was bored and getting depressed," he said. "It was upsetting because I couldn't do what I wanted to do. I was sick of it. I was waiting around hoping something would happen."
Then last year, President Obama announced a new initiative that would let people who had been brought to the country as children obtain a two-year (renewable) permit to stay in the country. But there was one catch—in order to qualify for the program, an individual had to prove he or she had been in the country continuously since June 2007. Since Muñoz lived with his parents and hadn’t worked or gone to school in that time, he had no transcripts, work records, rental receipts or other documentation to prove his presence on American soil.
Muñoz contacted local attorney Davorin Odrcic about his plight. During their discussion, they got to talking about their mutual love of gaming; that's when Odrcic got an idea. Since Jose Muñoz had an Xbox Live account, he was able to show that he had been playing and downloading games to his Wisconsin address consistently since 2007.
Muñoz and Odrcic sent off a copy of his Xbox records, along with a notarized statement swearing their accuracy, and the waiting game began. Two months later, Muñoz’s gaming and Odrcic’s quick thinking paid off big, when Jose received the letter granting him legal deferred status.
Muñoz doesn't have to worry about being deported for the next couple of years, and has now been able to get a drivers license, a car and two jobs; he's working at a local factory, as well as a restaurant. But his new status is not without a side effect: his Xbox time has taken a major hit. Since he can legally work, Jose is now “crazy busy,” working seven days a week to help his family and saving up for college.
At least someone's XBox playing is helping them avoid trouble, it's usually why we get in trouble with our girlfriends.