Sad Sad Story, but this is our reality. A talent illegal-immigrant student in Texas killed himself the day after Thanksgiving and left letters saying he felt trapped by his lack of opportunities.
High school senior Joaquin Luna, 18, of Mission, shot himself in the bathroom of his house on Friday. His brother Diyer Mendoza said Joaquin left letters telling of his despair at the chances of the federal Dream Act, which would legalize illegal-immigrant students and young adults, becoming a reality.
The purpose of the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act, also called the DREAM Act, is to help those individuals who meet certain requirements, have an opportunity to enlist in the military or go to college and have a path to citizenship which they otherwise would not have without this legislation. Supporters of the DREAM Act believe it is vital not only to the people who would benefit from it, but also the United States as a whole. It would give an opportunity to undocumented immigrant students who have been living in the U.S. since they were young, a chance to contribute back to the country that has given so much to them and a chance to utilize their hard earned education and talents.
Congress blocked the legislation last year when it fell five votes shy of the 60 needed for it to become a law. In July 2011, a state-level law in California was enacted, giving illegal immigrant students access to private college scholarships for state schools. In August, the state of Illinois authorized a privately-funded scholarship plan for children of immigrants both legal and illegal.
The sad death highlights the plight of hundreds of thousands of illegal-immigrant students who are caught between a decision their parents made when they were young and the realities of U.S. immigration law. We hope that the Government will create a path for legalization for such kids who by now became part of our society.