Deported Boy Uses Minecraft To Stay In Touch With American Friends

Rodrigo Guzman is 10. Born in Mexico, he'd lived in Berkeley, California since the age of 2, attending Jefferson Elementary, one of the best schools in the area. That was until he and his parents, en route to Mexico to renew their visas, were expelled from the country by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Stopped at Houston airport by authorities, reports the LA Times, their passports confiscated, the family were deported on the spot. Their possessions, and home, remain in Berkeley. More importantly for Rodrigo, though, was the fact he'd been instantly and perhaps permanently cut off from the friends he'd made at school, friends who had no idea what had happened or why a boy they'd known for years had been forced out of the country.

His classmates tried everything to get the US government to overturn the decision, from petitions to Facebook campaigns to rallying their local congresswoman, but it's becoming clear that even if a review or overturning of the decision can be made, it might be years down the line.

To help stay in touch, then, one of Rodrigo's friends devised a plan. Twins Kyle and Scott Kuwahara had, along with some other buddies, recently begun playing Minecraft, and they realised that even if Rodrigo was no longer physically with them, they could still hang out in the game.

So a group of students and their families rented a server and started work on "Rodrigo's World", a place where the kids from Jefferson and Rodrigo can still meet, talk and have fun.

"I want to say thank you for this, because it's helping me," Rodrigo told his friends. "But I still hope to come back and see everyone again."

A virtual way to be with their deported friend [LA Times]


    that's really cool. someone should do a collection to get them some headsets

    "Their possessions, and home, remain in Berkeley"

    .... that sucks

    "where it would take 5 years or longer to get new visas." Wait what? I know next to nothing about US customs but isn't that a stupidly long amount of time.

      It's not any better in Australia either. You could be barred up to as high as 10 years if you overstay your visa (i.e., Student, Working Holiday, etc). Similar rules to apply in the UK as well.

      Any excuse to 'close those doors' I guess.

      Last edited 03/09/13 3:18 pm

    Sucks for the kid but his parents shouldn't of broken the law.

      I didn't read anywhere that they had broken the law. The article states that the immigration department refused to comment, citing privacy and the parents themselves don't know why they were deported.

      Also, it's 'have', not 'of'. Sorry to be that guy but when someone says "should of" or "could of", it bugs me.

    Yep. Some people in Australia love to bang on about immigrants, and boat people, etc, often saying "get in the queue".

    Well I'm currently studying with someone whose family went in the "queue" when he was 2 years old (living in a refugee camp). It took over 15 years for them to get here. I can only imagine what things this guy had to grow up seeing in a refugee camp for that length of time.

      Me and my family got PR in Australia so easy. Education biaaatch. If you're intelligent enough to offer Australia something in return you can walk right on in. Ohhhhh yeah the Australian visa taste sooo good. Am I trolling? Am I even serious? I guess we will never know...

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