When 18-year-old Joaquin Luna, Jr. committed suicide in 2011, his family told reporters he had killed himself because of the despair he felt over his immigration status. He lived in Mission, Texas and wanted to become an engineer. Then there was Yanelli Hernandez, a DREAM Act eligible 22-year-old in Reading, Ohio who was taking anti-depressants and had attempted suicide twice before she was deported by immigration officials in 2011.
These and many other cases have opened a conversation on the mental health needs of undocumented youth. The failure of the DREAM Act in 2010 dealt a blow to the psyches of the undocumented young people. Ask any undocumented youth today and most -- if not all -- will agree the disappointment was devastating.