To save their classmate who was deported to Mexico, the fourth-graders devised an epic plan.
That Rodrigo Guzman, 10, could no longer be with his friends and attend Jefferson Elementary seemed so obviously unfair to these students. So they started an online petition that got 2,788 signatures. They created a Facebook page and posted videos to YouTube.
They petitioned the Berkeley City Council and school district, which passed resolutions supporting their cause. They met with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) to ask whether she could intervene.
“We have to fight for Rodrigo’s rights because he is not able to do it himself!” Kyle Kuwahara said in a letter to President Obama. “Today I’m writing to you on Rosa Parks’ 100th birthday to do the right thing. To allow Rodrigo and his family to return to their home, school and friends in Berkeley.”
Even as the children’s “Bring Rodrigo Home” campaign built momentum, it became clear that things would not move fast. The immigration system is complicated, the students were told. There were too many agencies and politicians with rules that didn’t seem to share their urgency.
Worried that they’d lose touch with Rodrigo and that he’d lose hope, Kyle and his twin brother, Scott, turned to Minecraft, a video game where they’d forged their greatest bonds with each other.
With the ability to create virtual worlds in Minecraft, one of the unlikeliest video game hits in recent years, these students could create a haven for themselves and Rodrigo.