Joaquin Luna was only 18. The senior at Juarez Lincoln High School in Mission, Texas, dreamed of going to college. But since he was in the country illegally, that was nearly impossible. Luna was quickly losing hope of ever going to college, his family says. The Friday after Thanksgiving, Luna put on a suit, kissed his family members, went into the bathroom and shot himself in the head, according to family members. "He didn't see no other way or no other option," his brother Diyra Mendoza told CNN affiliate KGBT.
Senator Dick Durbin gave a moving tribute to Joaquin on the Senate floor.
Sadly, this story continues. I grabbed this from a petition that I signed, on behalf of another DREAMer:
Twenty two year-old Yanelli Hernadez Serrano came to the United States when she was only 13 years old. Since that age, she has largely been independent and has had to work in order to sustain herself. Yanelli is currently facing deportation because she showed a police officer her consulate I.D. card as a form of identification, as she lacked a driver's license. While in detention, Yanelli lost hope and attempted to take her life twice.
After attempting suicide she was placed in solitary confinement, naked but for a blanket, and was given prozac. Despite the efforts of concerned persons, Yanelli was deported to Mexico on January 31.
In Yanelli's honor UndocuHealth.org was launched that very same day. UndocuHealth is a project that will provide undocumented youth with mental health support - whether it be connecting the youth with free resources or providing them with access to someone to talk to. The UndocuHealth Crisis Line will be a toll-free, bi-lingual hotline that anyone can call, at anytime to talk to a live person. The organizers are planning to offer services in languages beyond English and Spanish.
UndocuHealth is seeking donations so that they can train the volunteers who will be answering the telephone calls. I can't remember ever posting a fundraising plea on my blog, but will you consider making a financial contribution to support this program? To stay current follow UndocuHealth on Twitter.
While I'm promoting financial contributions, I was so relieved to hear that fifteen-year old Lidiane Carmo, whose family was killed in a tragic Florida vehicle accident, will not be deported to Brazil or charged by US Immigration authorities. She does, however need financial aid to pay her hospital bills, bring her family members' bodies back home, and to hold a funeral.