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Nativists Lambast Family of Undocumented Suicide Victim

By Leah Nelson on December 14, 2011 - 2:45 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

No one knows for sure what was going through the head of 18-year-old Joaquin Luna Jr. when he committed suicide last month. His family told reporters they suspect he was motivated by despair over the limitations posed by his status as an undocumented immigrant. His suicide note (which the family had not yet seen when they made their initial comments to the press), included no reference to immigration status – though in a letter addressed to Jesus Christ, Luna reportedly asked for forgiveness and wrote, “I’ve realized that I have no chance in becoming a civil engineer the way I’ve always dreamed of here … so I’m planning on going to you and helping you construct the new temple in heaven.”

Luna’s half-brother, Diyer Mendoza, 35, told reporters that Luna, who was an infant when his parents brought him from Mexico to the United States, was in despair over the obstacles to education and employment his immigration status posed. “We lived with him, so we know, and it doesn’t matter what other people say,” he said. “Every time he would put in an application, the first thing that would pop up was ‘Are you a U.S. citizen?’ No. ‘Resident?’ No. ‘Social Security number?’ No. It was all just mounting and mounting on top of him. I truly believe that if that Dream Act would have already passed, he would still be here today.”

Luna’s suicide was rapidly politicized. Seizing on his family’s reports that he was despondent over his immigration status, some immigrants’ rights advocates described Luna a casualty of Congress’ repeated failure to pass the DREAM Act, which would create a path to citizenship for undocumented young people who were brought to the United States as children.

When it came out that his final writings contained no explicit mention of his immigration status, the anti-immigrant lobby attacked not only its political opponents, but Luna’s family itself.

“[O]h these open borders flakes are BUSTED! They faked the reason for this kid’s suicide, if it even was a suicide,” wrote William Gheen, head of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) head. Gheen, readers may recall, earlier this year suggested that “illegal and violent” “extra political activities” might be the only way to save “white America” from “Dictator Barack Obama.”

Ira Mehlman, media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an anti-immigrant hate group whose Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) devised the language for the mean-spirited immigration enforcement laws in Arizona and Alabama, was even more vicious.

“Even opponents of the DREAM Act empathize with the situation that Luna and many like him find themselves,” he wrote on FAIR’s blog early this month. “Whenever anyone takes his own life, questions need to be asked. In this case the first question must be posed to his parents: Mr. & Mrs. Luna, wasn’t it obvious to you that when you consciously broke the law and brought your young son to this country illegally that you were creating an untenable situation for him?”

The fact is that while no one but Luna can say what role, if any, his immigration status played in his decision to commit suicide, there’s no reason to think that his family members lied when they said he was depressed over the limitations he faced because of it. What matters ultimately is that his family lost a son – and no circumstance, political motive, or evidence can justify nativist groups’ attack on the Lunas in their time of deepest sorrow.

  • ruben

    gheen…. can you present your proof of mass murder of american citizens by immigrants?……the only mass murder of americans by immigrants that i can think of is the genocide of the native americans by some of the immigrants from europe….is this what you are talking about?……i believe that your rhetoric is nothing more then lies to justify your burning hate…you are a sick,sick person and recommend that you seek psychological help for your paranoia before it completely destroys you.

  • Mitch Beales

    Gheen where’s the evidence for mass murder by immigrants, documented or undocumented? You know it doesn’t exist yet you keep repeating these lies. This constitutes hate speech and I hereby request that Hatewatch stop providing a forum for your rants.

  • Gregory

    “According to the FBI, mass murder is defined as four or more murders occurring during a particular event with no cooling-off period between the murders. A mass murder typically occurs in a single location in which a number of victims are killed by an individual or more.”

    Perhaps Mr Gheen could provide some examples of this type of atrocity by those he is demonizing. It would seem to me that most incidents that fit this particular definition are occurring south of the border.

  • CM

    Mr. Gheen,

    Your latest comment just serves to illustrate the point I made about “demonizing immigrants with false statistics and other damned lies.” You appear to be irremediably entrenched in your terrifying fantasies about dark invaders. It must be awful to live in that kind of fear. I urge you to get professional help.

  • William Gheen

    We are the innocent American defenders working with Americans of every race trying to stop the mass murder of our citizens by the illegal immigrant invasion you support.

    Aside from the thousands of deaths caused each year by the illegal aliens you support against your fellow Americans, millions of American jobs and billions in depreciated wages are lost causing Americans hardships in many terrible ways your team seems to be oblivious of.

    Your team, the pro amnesty and pro illegal alien invasion side, are the ones that tied to make the unfortunate and tragic death of Joaquin Luna Jr a political issue. You are the ones that rushed to try to make him into a child martyr for your cause. And thankfully the police announced that your claims were a crock and no such documentation existed in the letters!

    The real tragedy here is that many of you have played up the death of Joaquin Luna Jr so much that you have glorified it and exalted this incident as if he is a martyr sacrificing for your cause.

    By doing so you have greatly increased the chances that a kid that really has been supporting the Dream Act Amnesty is going to kill themselves to satisfy your desires to use dead children to support your invasion of America.

    And if or when that happens, the blood of that child will be on the hands of each of you that tried to gain political points off the dead corpse of Joaquin Luna Jr.

    Adults like you trying to manipulate these illegal alien kids for your agenda is just wrong and you got burned for doing it this time. Hopefully you will stop doing that.

  • http://yahoo ruben

    to william gheen…..you are the worst type of human being there is….calling yourself an innocent american is a joke!…i’ve heard your hate and paranoia filled speeches and they are far from innocent and full of love as you claim…..your problem is that you were born a couple hundred years too late….there is no doubt in my mind that if you were around a couple hundred years ago you would be selling blankets infested with the small pox virus to kill off the natives and steal there land or that you would have barns filled with slaves….you are not native to this land moron!!….you are an immigrant to this continent!!…..whether you like it or not….most of the people you like to call aliens can trace there blood back thousands of years to this continent can you?…..burning hatred dumbs you down and you are guilty of this….save your crocodile tears for your naive followers you are what you are.

  • ModerateMike

    “Mr. & Mrs. Luna, wasn’t it obvious to you that when you consciously broke the law and brought your young son to this country illegally that you were creating an untenable situation for him?”

    Well, no, it was not obvious, or they would not have done so. Perhaps the Lunas were already in an untenable situation before they decided to come to the U.S. Without knowing more about their circumstances, how could anyone judge their character so harshly?

  • Kochise

    Molloy,
    There is one thing that I disagree with you on. It should never be such “easier” task for those here illegally to obtain legal residency and/or citizenship. There has to be precautionary procedures in place to better determined the undocumented alien’s background. In an effort to root out and screen the violent and felony criminals from those who with no criminal organization, cartel or gangster ties. It is also noted in a recent non-partisan study, that many family members of undocumented aliens have some form of criminal ties/connections back in Mexico. This is what concerns me as a Native American in the U.S.

  • CM

    Mr. Gheen,

    Juan Rangel basically said almost everything I would have written in response to your last comment. I would just add that since you seem to be incapable of the kind of self-examination I recommended before, maybe you can at least try reading the last paragraph of Ms. Nelson’s post, which you apparently missed the first time around:

    “The fact is that while no one but Luna can say what role, if any, his immigration status played in his decision to commit suicide, there’s no reason to think that his family members lied when they said he was depressed over the limitations he faced because of it. What matters ultimately is that his family lost a son – and no circumstance, political motive, or evidence can justify nativist groups’ attack on the Lunas in their time of deepest sorrow.”

  • Dick Lancaster

    Overcoming obsticles is what America is all about. We’ve taught our kids that the government owes them a living then the government tries to do so. It can’t. America isn’t about prosperity, it’s about freedom–freedom to excel or fall on your face. Prosperity is a byproduct of those who wish to use their freedom to excel. Too many illegal invaders assume America will cuddle them and kiss all their boo-boos. When it doesn’t, they get angry instead of busy. This kid grew up assuming he was entitled to all the fruits of America when not even Americans are entitled to such fruits unless they hurdle the obsticles to obtain them. If you read the news, even legitimate American citizens commit suicide. What’s so special about this poor kid is that he’s a vehicle for pro illegal propaganda. The insesitive people here are those in the SPLC exploiting this tragedy.

  • Juan Rangel

    Mr Gheen:

    “My soul is full of love and I am quite confident that my cause is just and those of you here at the SPLC are a bunch of evil liars that are directly supportive of the mass murder of Americans by the illegal aliens you support.”

    Then you clearly state: “And I do truly pray that the Lord will make you pay one day. Thou shalt not bear false witness.”

    I don’t know if you are aware of your own contradictions but wishing someone the worst(SPLC supporters) or demonizing illegal immigrants for all of your efforts does not make your case “just” or having a wonderful soul. How can you claim to have a loving soul when there are shadows of “prejudice” and dislike for others?

    “You liars at the SPLC have defamed me extensively and done your very best to misconstrue anything I say. All of my writings and public appearances calling for peaceful political involvement by Americans of all races working together willfully excluded from your attacks.

    Whether my current organization continues or not, I will fight you liars at the SPLC till the day I die.”

    These are clearly your own words, and no one is miscontruing anything.

    Again, these words don’t sound peaceful at all but rather menacing and almost as a warning.

    One kid committed suicide and his life and dreams were shattered. But instead of just keeping quiet and giving his family time to mourn and grieve. You rather use his death to further promote your own sick and twisted “just” cause.

    With a loving soul like that. You are surely closer to heaven and sainthood.

    Me? I rather be on the side of those who are always maligned and are going to hell according to your own words. Illegal aliens are taking being scapegoated for everything nowadays that it has become almost the fad.

  • WMDKitty

    Well, it is technically the parents’ fault that he was here illegally. He certainly didn’t choose to cross the border — as an infant, he couldn’t make that choice for himself! They never applied for legal residency of any kind.

    Therefore, the blame for this suicide can be laid squarely at their own feet.

    THAT SAID, the family does deserve sympathy for their loss. NOBODY should have to outlive their child, regardless of the circumstances.

    Work out the legal details later. Now is the time to be decent human beings and let them grieve in peace.

  • Willie Salas

    Racism and bigotry serve no useful purpose to society. The mean spirited remarks are of the same menality that were directed towards Black during the civil rights movement. Always sad to read the hatred by some extremist. I believe in the rule of law without the hatred.
    All Men are created equal. Love thy neighbor as thy self…sound familier?

  • Snorlax

    “They faked the reason for this kid’s suicide, if it even was a suicide,” wrote William Gheen

    Gheen, you’re a baldfaced liar. You WERE commenting about the family.

  • Sam Molloy

    Mr. Gheen
    Nobody wants the drug dealers and violent criminals to come here. That’s why a sensible but easier path to citizenship has to be enacted, so we can keep the people who just want to work and live decent lives like we do.

  • William Gheen

    At the time of my comments, the death had not officially been determined as a suicide by police to my knowledge.

    The truth of the matter here is that a large portion of those of you in the pro Dream Act Amnesty camp tried to use this kid’s tragic death to further your failed legislation.

    In this case, you got busted trying to float a case where there is no evidence that Dream Act legislation failure was the reason for the suicide.

    You are the ones increasing the risk that a kid that really is involved in supporting Amnesty is going to kill themselves to satisfy your desire for a child martyr.

    You liars at the SPLC have defamed me extensively and done your very best to misconstrue anything I say. All of my writings and public appearances calling for peaceful political involvement by Americans of all races working together willfully excluded from your attacks.

    Whether my current organization continues or not, I will fight you liars at the SPLC till the day I die.

    I can see clearly now that one of America’s greatest problems is a few groups like the SPLC that malign innocent Americans trying to engage on difficult political issues.

    You’ve done such a good job lying to people about what I say and what I stand for that you have stirred plenty of folks up that want to kill me and harm my family.

    You are guilty of doing to me and others what you claim the SPLC and ADL are supposed to stand against!

    And I do truly pray that the Lord will make you pay one day. Thou shalt not bear false witness.

    My soul is full of love and I am quite confident that my cause is just and those of you here at the SPLC are a bunch of evil liars that are directly supportive of the mass murder of Americans by the illegal aliens you support.

    In fact, what I have in mind for my next project will likely deal with you more directly.. POLITICALLY <—- Just putting that in there before you go running off lying again claiming I threatened you in some inappropriate way.

  • CM

    Mr. Gheen:

    Humbug. Your comments were meant to exploit this family’s loss to advance your own bigoted agenda.

    Remember your “if it even was a suicide”?

    Your comment here is almost as hypocritical as Mehlman’s claim to “empathize” with Luna while accusing his parents of causing the whole thing. If any of you were capable of real empathy, you wouldn’t be out there demonizing immigrants with false statistics and other damned lies. You need to take a long, deep look into your own spiteful soul.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AronL, Aron

    Gheen,

    That sure isn’t what your words sounded like. Considering you blamed the parents for bringing the child into the US…

    I hope your organization finally does fail like you’ve been warning. It is simply a disgrace.

    Illegal aliens are people, too.

  • William Gheen

    My comments were not directed at this kid’s family. My comments are directed at the pro illegal alien invasion groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and others that try to use anything they can to justify amnesty for illegal immigrants.

  • Reynardine

    All heart, as usual.

  • Mitch Beales

    The real horror of racism is apparent here. These people won’t even allow the family of a suicide to try to make sense of, and perhaps find a meaning for, his life and death.