Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Essay tells of the aspirations of a young man who committed suicide, distraught over his immigration status

Last Friday, 18-year-old Joaquin Luna dressed himself in the suit he wore to church, then quietly shot himself in the bathroom of his family's home in Mission, Texas. He left behind a suicide note explaining his motive: He was distraught over his immigration status.

An ambitious high school student with good grades, Luna had been in the United States since he was six months old, but he had been unable to become a legal resident. Relatives have told media that he was especially crushed by the defeat late last year of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would have given him an opportunity to obtain legal status if he went to college, something he hoped to do.

Fox News Latino and the Tucson Citizen have posted an essay credited to Luna in which he writes about joining his family picking asparagus in earlier years, and his desire to become the family's first college graduate. An excerpt from the essay in today's Tucson Citizen post:

One of my favorite and by far one of my strongest subjects is math. I"ve adapted to math as a different language we need to understand to make it in this world. Since I have really good impressions in the math field I have considered studying a career that deals with it. That is where Architecture will fall under place for my perfect match. My vital goal is to become a successful architect and help my family in any way possible the way they have always helped and been there for me.

If I had the financial requirements to pursue my goal there would be nothing more standing in the way to achieve it. I have confidence that the C.A.M.P program can help me become that person I"ve always dreamed of becoming. It would make a major impact in my whole family especially to my parents who have struggled practically their whole life. They have unconditionally supported me and will continue to do so for the benefit of my brothers as well. I want to demonstrate to them that all that agricultural work done and all those days of giving their best would have been worth it. The sound of being the first one of my family graduating from college makes me want it more because I want to prove not only to myself but to many other people especially my own sisters that even because we don"t have the financial support doesnt mean we need to quit in fulfilling want we always wanted to. That right there would really complete my dream.

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