An 18-year-old senior at Juarez-Lincoln High School student kills self after losing all hope of going to college. School officials say, he never showed signs that would prevent him from succeeding or getting into college.
By H. Nelson Goodson
November 30, 2011
Mission, Texas – On Friday, police responded to a shooting at a local residence. They found Joaquin Luna Jr., 18, with an apparent self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound to the head inside the home. Family members told police investigators that Luna put on a suit, kissed them each and then went into the bathroom. Moments later they heard a gunshot.
When Diyra Mendoza, his brother went to check the bathroom. He found Luna unresponsive, dead and noticed a fatal wound to the head. Mendoza told KGBT Action 4 News that Luna was distraught about not being able to go to college because “He didn’t see no other way or no other option” due to his illegal status.
Luna was one of the several million of young students who would have qualify under the DREAM Act to remain in the U.S. The DREAM Act would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented students who were brought to the U.S. at a young age of 16, and complete at least two years of college or military service. But the act failed to pass Congress in 2010. Mendoza says, letters left behind by Luna indicated that he was very disappointed about the DREAM Act not being approved and his options to remain in the U.S. or pursue a college education, which remained blocked.
On Tuesday, Valley Central dot com reported that Luna was an “A” and “B” student who attended Juarez-Lincoln High School in Mission. Principal Clem Garza told Valley Central dot com, that staff who knew Luna said, he never mentioned the DREAM Act or never showed any signs and feelings that the failure of Congress to pass the DREAM Act would prevent him from succeeding or getting into college. Luna had an essay and an e-mail where he was planning to send an essay to several universities to apply for scholarships and was eager to fulfill his goal of becoming an engineer, according to Garza. Garza holds copies of both the essay and an e-mail from Luna showing his intend to go to college, despite his illegal status.
Luna’s family members continue to stand by their belief that Luna took his life due to his illegal status and that he would be prevented from going into college.
Dr. Alda T. Benavides, Superintendent of La Joy Independent School District in a letter of condolecenses to the Luna family stated, that Luna was a model “A” student and “excelled not only academically, but also stood out as an excellent guitar player.”
In early December of 2010, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report indicated that the approval of the DREAM Act would help cut the federal deficit by $1.4 billion, and generate $2.3 billion in corporate and social insurance taxes within the next ten years. http://bit.ly/fk6B3N
That same year, the DREAM Act was killed in the U.S. Senate because it failed to get the needed 60 votes to prevent a filibuster inorder for the bill to proceed for a Senate vote.
A UCLA study concluded that DREAM Act participants could contribute $1.4 – $3.6 trillion to the U.S. economy during their working lives. College students under the DREAM Act are expected to earn about 60% more than students with only a high school education, according to the White House.
The White House posted 10 Reasons We Need The DREAM Act at Internet link. http://bit.ly/gWFjGy
The Center for American Progress reported that it would cost the federal government more than $48.6 billion to deport 2 million undocumented teenagers (students).
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Joaquin Luna Jr.