WASHINGTON -- A young undocumented immigrant committed suicide in Mission, Texas last Friday, citing his frustration and anxiety over his immigration status. Joaquín Luna, an 18-year old honor roll senior at Juarez-Lincoln High School, had lived in the United States since he was six months old. He decided to end his life the day after Thanksgiving, leaving behind letters in which he described his desperation over his immigration status in the country. Luna will be honored this Friday by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA).
His older brother Diyer Mendoza told KGBT-TV Action 4 that Joaquin had been counting on the passage of the federal DREAM Act, which would have provided a path to legalization for undocumented students who were brought to the United States as minors.
“Joaquin was loved by everyone," said Diyer Mendoza. "He was all about school, church, and my mom. He was an extraordinary brother, talented, never got in trouble with the police. Then, the DREAM Act did not pass and his college acceptance and financial aid letters started asking about his immigration status.
"Joaquin’s biggest worry became that after all those years in college he would end up without a job. He had a dream, the American Dream, but he felt his immigration status prevented him from reaching it. Ironically, he made the final decision because he didn’t want to let my mom down; he wanted to be the best for everybody.
"I just hope other students in his situation speak to others about what they are feeling before taking this drastic step. ”