DREAMer commits suicide citing immigration troubles

In tragic news, 18-year-old Joaquin Luna, a DREAMer, committed suicide last week. Luna’s brother says he planned to become an engineer one day. Luna was a senior at Juarez Lincoln High School in Mission, Texas. DREAMers are undocumented youth who were brought to the United States by their parents as children. They grew up here, but have no way of obtaining citizenship, meaning they can’t apply for financial aid and can’t work legally.

Luna’s family said that letters he left behind talked about his troubles with his immigration status. Luna was worried about his status since the Dream Act failed to pass, which would have allowed for him to get permanent residency and study to become an engineer. According to the Guardian, in his letter:

He spoke of his desperation at what he felt to be the wall blocking out his future and preventing him from attaining his dreams.

Trigger warning for the description of the incident below.

Luna’s brother Diyre Mendoza said, “He didn’t (see) any other way or no other option.”

Via ValleyCentral.com:

Family said Friday at around 9 p.m., Luna dressed-up in a tie and suit, kissed them good-bye, then went into the restroom and shot himself in the head, with a small handgun.

“As soon as I pulled him out to the kitchen,” Mendoza said, “I could see the bullet hole and there was no movement, no signs of anything – he was gone.”

Luna wanted to succeed in life to provide a better life for his mother, Santa Lerma Mendoza.

Family told Action 4 News that in his suicide letters, the teen wrote that he feared being an illegal immigrant would keep him from fulfilling his goals.

“He was saying he was going to do this because he wasn’t going to be able to continue with his college,” Mendoza said.

There is no “It Get’s Better” campaign for these youth if our government doesn’t deal with the horrific climate around immigration. This isn’t just a political issue–it’s a life or death issue.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted November 30, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    This article is truly upsetting. It is sad that this High School Senior had all of this added stress because he was an immigrant. I feel so bad for his family and him as well. It’s sad because, I am a freshman in college and I could never imagine going to school without the help of government financial aid. It had to be tough knowing that he was not being judged on his academic ability, but the fact that he was not born in the United States. Everyone should be able to have access to the same opportunities.

  2. Posted December 1, 2011 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    This is very upsetting indeed. It’s sad that he felt like there was no other way. I think what’s even worse is he was here illegally through no fault of his own. His parents came here illegally and he was just a child. What else was he supposed to do but go with them? Because of that, he felt trapped.
    I think that it needs to be easier to become a legal citizen. What he would have had to do to become one, as things are now, is return to his country of origin for a full year and then go through all the paperwork and red tape of legally coming here. And he would have to have a work visa, a green card, or a sponsor. And there would be limitations on that since he was previously illegal.
    Politicians complain so much about illegal immigration, but do next to nothing to alleviate the issue and here is one result of that.

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