Skip to main content

CNN Helps Politicize Tragic Teen 'Dream Act Suicide'

After an illegal immigrant teenager killed himself allegedly because his lack of citizenship would derail his college dreams, CNN ran a segment on the "'Dream Act' Suicide" and asked his family about the importance of the liberal "Dream Act" to other illegal immigrant students.

The family of the teenager Joaquin Luno claimed that his suicide was due to stress over his illegal immigrant status and his frustration that the Democrat-supported "Dream Act" did not pass Congress – legislation which would help him achieve his goal of attending college. The second half of CNN's segment was then devoted to the status of the liberal immigration bill. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]

"Mendoza says the letters his brother left behind reveal his fears about being in the country illegally. He was also frustrated the Dream Act never passed," CNN correspondent Rafael Romo reported, sourcing the teen's brother, before leading into the status of the legislation.

"A new push by Democrats in Congress this year didn't go too far, either. Republican lawmakers called the bill blanket amnesty and have strongly opposed it," Romo ominously reported. Are Republicans now the bad guys for blocking legislation that a teenager deemed vitally important, at the cost of his life?

CNN later aired another comment from the teen's brother, who insisted that many other illegal immigrant teenagers are depending on the Dream Act to attend college. "It's like all these kids that are here, they're all dependent on that Dream Act, to keep on studying," Diyra Mendoza told CNN.

The report ended on a "down" note with the news that passage of the bill is currently unlikely. "But with the Congress unable to reach a compromise to reduce the deficit, and presidential elections less than a year away, the chances of any immigration reform seem very unlikely," concluded Romo.

[Video below.]


A transcript of the segment, which aired on November 30 at 1:47 p.m. EST, is as follows:

RANDI KAYE: A teenager in Texas who dreams of being an engineer felt his status as an illegal immigrant would keep him out of college and deny him a career. His family says the pressure drove him to suicide. Rafael Romo has his story.

(Video Clip)

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN correspondent: (Voice-over) Joaquin Luna was only 18 years old. 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.

DIYRA MENDOZA, brother of Joaquin Luna: He just saw no other way or no other option.

ROMO: His brother says Joaquin wanted to be an engineer. The sketches he left behind show his ability. But he was quickly losing hope of ever going to college, his family says. Last Friday, according to family members, he went into the bathroom, and shot himself in the head.

MENDOZA: And as soon as I pulled him out to the kitchen, I could see the bullet hole. And there was no movement, no signs of anything. He was gone.

ROMO: Mendoza says the letters his brother left behind reveal his fears about being in the country illegally. He was also frustrated the Dream Act never passed.

(on camera): The initiative would legalize young immigrants who have been in the country for more than five years if they attend college or served in the military. The Dream Act fell five votes short in the Senate last year. A new push by Democrats in Congress this year didn't go too far, either. Republican lawmakers called the bill blanket amnesty and have strongly opposed it.

Sen. JOHN CORNYN, (R-Tex.): It is a band-aid. And maybe worse, it will provide an incentive for future illegal immigration.

ROMO (voice-over): The Dream Act was also a hot-potato issue in the recent CNN debate of Republican presidential candidates.

Rep. MICHELE BACHMAN, (R-Minn.), GOP presidential candidate: The federal Dream Act, which would offer taxpayer subsidized benefits to illegal aliens. We need to move away from magnets, not offer more.

NEWT GINGRICH, GOP presidential candidate: I don't see any reason to punish somebody who came here at 3 years of age but who wants to serve the United States of America.

ROMO: Back in Texas, Mendoza is thinking of other young immigrants like his brother.

MENDOZA: It's like all these kids that are here, they're all dependent on that Dream Act, to keep on studying.

ROMO: But with the Congress unable to reach a compromise to reduce the deficit, and presidential elections less than a year away, the chances of any immigration reform seem very unlikely. Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.

(End Video Clip)

KAYE: Thanks, Rafael.


#1 This boy had other issues

Any teenager who claims to be committing suicide because of the failure to pass a law, had much bigger issues than the Dream Act. They ought to do a story on his family, school life, etc.

#2 This story was reported by a Hispanic.

So it cannot be criticized by anyone.
So I guess we won't ask where he got the gun or if his brother is illegal too.

Follow me on Twitter

#3 And

Had he also been gay, the left would have demanded congressional hearings and a statue

#4 Parents Fault

His parents brought him here, illegally. He could have still been an engineer in his native country. This is just rubbish, liberal trash.


He probably could have recrossed the border, and gone to college for free in Mexico! But you see the Mexicans think that they are entitled to whatever they demand. And if they demand cheap college here in the states, then they think that the GRINGO should pay for it!!! I am sorry he is dead. I am sorry that his family will have to go through the pain and suffering that a sucide brings. I am sorry that his Immortal soul will now be in Hell forever. Thats sad but really the bottom line is............. its one less ILLEGAL ALIEN in OUR country

Liberals: No Morals, No Standards, NO Problem!

#6 The blame should be on his

The blame should be on his parents, who illegally invaded this country and proceeded to feed on our prosperity.

#7 something doesn't smell right

The boy's suicide was due to a lack of passage of a national Dream Act? As every CNN reporter should know by now, Texas has its own Dream Act, which pertains to 31 public universities in Texas.

Joaquin Luna lived 30 minutes from UTPA (University of Texas - Pan American), annual cost: ~$7k for tuition and books, which offers 5 engineering degrees. A cheaper alternative would be to do a local community college for the first year, then transfer.

#8 All well and good, Mom

but it doesn't fit the liberal, pro-amnesty crowd's agenda. Therefore, it's necessary to tie the suicide of a very troubled young man to the failure of amnesty, and by extension, it's all the fault of anyone who doesn't want to throw the borders open to any and all.

Please, for the sake of the pro-amnesty crowd, don't try to counter their "feelings" with facts.

To re-elect Obama would be like the Titanic backing up and hitting the iceberg again.

#9 He would have had a free ride most likely.

My children carry a Latino surname and were offered some rather obscene financial aid packages to various colleges simply based on their heritage. The universities and colleges where they applied were dishing out grants and scholarships to Latinos so fast it would have caused a good case of resistant vertigo. They all ended up getting competitive academic scholarships, and my wife and I paid for a good portion of their tuition because we did not feel right accepting financial aid when we really did not need it.

There are enough scholarship, grant and special financing assistance available to Latinos through multiple channels that this politically correct BS story is just that - BS.

I feel horribly for the parents who suffered, but saying their child committed suicide because of a specific piece of legislation means either they are being manipulated by the usual liberal Democrat suspects and/or their son may have had an existing mental illness that they are not disclosing. As a general rule in psychiatry, very few cases of overt suicide are ever actually decided that quickly unless a serious underlying mental illness is present.

#10 Doc Sam

Rhetorical question but, why do people in this great Country of ours keep seeing color (latino,asian, african, etc.) And not see simply Americans?

And yes i feel for the parents of this child, but there most certainly were some other issues involved in his life to drive him to suicide, IMO.

Motor City Madman said it best -

#11 Wish I knew-but this divisive crap is classic Democrat.

Just like the Democrats have been playing the victimization cards for years with various types of minorities, we are all expected to vote and speak only the lines we are provided. No ad lib. Zero tolerance for independent thinking and zero tolerance for going off the plantation. In my own family's case, my parents and their parents were very socially and economically conservative and identified with the Republican party because of their support for values of religious faith, hard work and truly earned rewards. When their Democrat contemporaries came around promising the sun, moon and stars because they were "oppressed", my parents had nothing more to do with them.

Perhaps the worst problem the Democrats have is their tendency to look at all minorities as single-minded ideological blocs to be used as that party sees fit to achieve its agenda. There is as much diversity of opinion in the African-American, Latino and Asian communities as there is in the rest of the US population, but the Democrats are not mentally equipped to deal with that fact. Instead, we minorities are to be plugged into the matrix of political manipulation and expected to shut up about it.

Regardless of our ethnic and religious heritage, we are all Americans and we should face that fact. To me, the ultimate tragedy of this is displayed in that perverse tendency of the Democrats to look at minorities and label us all victims simply because they have no optimism or vision to offer. Or for those of us who have succeeded in making a good life for our families, we are immediately told it was due to the Democrats only, and not due to our own hard work. If there is anything that makes my blood boil, it is that last idiocy.

#12 Agitprop

Agitprop, pure and simple.

Again, I ask, CNN - if it is no big deal for people to enter this country as they damn well please, can we just dispense with the CBP?  Why does law enforcement bother looking at my passport when I re-enter the United States? 

"CONSUMED DEMOCRACY RETURNS A SOCIALIST REGIME" - Slayer, "Fictional Reality", from Divine Intervention (1994)

#13 If a fence won't work on the border,

why don't we remove all the fences at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? If they don't work in Texas, they won't work in D.C.

To re-elect Obama would be like the Titanic backing up and hitting the iceberg again.

#14 This has got to be the most

This has got to be the most idiotic "story" I have ever read. I don't buy it. It smells like a huge lie instigated by CNN, La Raza, and the DNC.

For the MSM: In your pomp and all your glory, you're a poorer man than me.  As you lick the boots of death born out of fear.

Ian Anderson "Wind up"

#15 I call BS on this BS story.

I call BS on this BS story. Many,many Americans don't get the chance to go to college, many struggle to keep a roof over their head and food on the table, to find or keep a job. This is ridiculous. I didn't go to college, and neither did many of my friends, it didn't enter our minds to killl ourselves over it. If your actual life hinges on something getting done in Washington, you are seriously screwed.
Maybe the media would like to contrast the number of Americans killed and/or raped by illegal aliens with illegals that kill themselves over furthering an education that taxpayers that owe them nothing already paid for. I'll give them a headstart, Approximately 2,200 Americans murdered a year by illegals (crickets.) = 1 illegal suicide over public policy (National news). What's wrong with that picture?
Note that that number does not include drunk driving caused deaths, just straight up murder.

#16 What? No colleges or

What? No colleges or universities in Mexico? My great uncle taught heart surgery at UAM years ago and as far as I know, it's still standing...

"It may be true that you can't fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country"......Will Durant

#17 Guadalupe still has a great university, as do other....

...Latin American countries.

Not buying this politicization of an unfortunate young man's (and family's) undeclared or undiagnosed mental illness for one second. Make that one picosecond.

#18 A little OT

I notice it's immoral to enforce immigration laws because it will 'separate the illegals from their families', but it's okay to take a child from it's mother if said child is obese.

#19 If you don't mind ant*

It is called "morbid obesity".  That is a death sentence for a child. Usually a child that is diagnosed morbid obese and not due to a medical condition,  is at risk because of dysfunctional parents. There are several diagnoses required to justify removal of custody. Drsamherman would have more specifics in these types of cases.  The parent "overfeeds" the child as compensation for emotionally rejecting the child. It is not a healthy parent/child relationship and "counseling" rarely makes a significant change especially for older children. The only way to break the deadly relationship is to separate parent and child.  But once a child identifies food as  a substitute for "nurturing" or "mothering", that child will have serious issues involving food. 

Having been involved with  these types of cases, sadly, the  children died before puberty even though they  were hospitalized. Parents and children received psychiatric care but the damage done was irreversible.  If a disturbed parent physically abused a child, broke an arm, removal of custody would be understandable.  Emotional abuse/neglect of a child can have serious risks and damage  to the child as other types of abuse/neglect.  In fact studies have shown that emotional abuse/neglect has a more lasting negative affect on children than physical abuse.  

Food as a substitute for love and affection can become a weapon, and more than bones are broken. 

#20 But the facts of the case

But the facts of the case don't bear that out. It's my understanding the mother has an older son who's been described as 'thin', she complied with requests to put him in a program consisting of exercise, etc. This exact thing was done before, and the child was returned to the mother after three or four torturous months after it was determined the child had a glandular condition. I am vehemently opposed to this sort of infringement into the lives of people by the authorities. Especially, as I said, when they ignore plain immigration law, but enforce this rather nebulous hysteria over an 'obesity epidemic'. The same 'authority' that would take a child from home for 'obesity' would return an apostate child to the Muslim father that would 'punish' her. Everybody is a protected class, unless you're a particular American target to be determined at the time by the appropriate authorities. It's bull. At what point will 'Christianity' or home-schooling be considered cause to remove a child by the soft tyranny of liberal busy-bodies?

#21 BS story and if it isn't it's

BS story and if it isn't it's the crimminal parents fault. This is just another cheap sympathy ploy. What about the victims of the crimes commited by illegal aliens?

Non, je ne regrette rien. "You aren't angry because I might be a racist, you're angry because you know I'm right".

#22 WOW! I went about all wrong!

I guess we went about it all wrong when my parents brought me to this country illegally 39 years ago.
Guess working the grape fields at age 13 next to my parents every summer and winter vacations, guess my step-father did not have to work two jobs and my mother too , to pay for the legal aid so we could become legal citizens.
I believe we should give them all the opportunity to spend hours in line to get the documents and work several jobs to gather the money necessary to hire a lawyer. I have served over 20 years in the USAF to support and defend this great country and now as a proud AMERICAN of Mexican descent, NOT a Mexican American, I be damned if I will allow all these left wing nut jobs to desecrate it,,,,, ok, time to mellow out,,,

#23 Maybe it' s the false.....

...premise of a college education by way of a Governmental "Act" that causes those presumably effected by the so called legislation to become suicidal.
Instead of making these young illegal aliens understand the Constitution and how America is designed to work, liberals offer a false hope, false promises, and use them for their own devious power grab.
Turn this story around and you can clearly see that if this teen's suicide was truly because he feared the Dream Act would not be passed, he has been used. Sad for all those beautiful Americans who came here and worked through a fine, difficult, but true citizenship process who are now no longer considered THE role model for citizenship. And frightening that our media, Government, and liberal ideology would hold this poor child's death up to the looking glass and place blame on those who find the Dream Act dangerous and wrong for all the right reasons. They should turn the glass back on themselves as that may be where the true blame for this boy's death really lies. It isn't that Republicans failed this child. It is that they have set for him a higher expectation for his life and others like him. And Democrats simply want their vote. This child died, if he indeed did take his life over the failure of the Dream Act to pass, becaused he was sold a bill of goods by CNN for his potential Democrat vote. Useless loss. Thanks Dems. You and your complicit media own this one.


"All great change in America begins at the dinner table" Ronald Reagan, Jan 21, 1981

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.