An 18-year-old Texan student killed himself Friday night because he was undocumented and felt his dream of becoming an engineer was impossible.
The Family of Joaquin Luna told a local TV station (watch the report) that the teenager had left behind suicide letters explaining why he took his own life.
His sister, Diyre Mendoza, said that he was frustrated because the DREAM Act – which would create a path to residency for those brought to the US like him as small children — had failed in Congress and appears unlikely to anytime soon.
“He didn’t (see) any other way or no other option,” she said.
On Friday night Joaquin had put on a suit and tie, kissed them, then went into the restroom and shot himself in the head.
His family said he was a dedicated student, had good grades and wanted to be an engineer. He had been responsible for designing and building ceilings in several of the rooms at their home.
“He was saying he was going to do this because he wasn’t going to be able to continue with his college,” Mendoza said.
His weeping mother told the TV station.
“Kids, don’t take your life.”
“When you want something bad enough, you can achieve it. Have faith in God and ask with all your heart that he give you opportunities.”
The DREAM Act was defeated in Congress last December, when even original sponsors of the bill like Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch, John McCain and Bob Bennett voted against the narrow legalization bill for a limited number of undocumented immigrant youth.
In California, opponents of that state’s DREAM Act are gearing up to put the law on the ballot.
In New York, educators are pushing for a local version of the DREAM Act.
Picture by Todd Dwyer