If there’s a will, there’s certainly a way. At least that’s the attitude that lead Arizona native and co-president of the Tequila Party Movement, Deedee Garcia Blase to stage a cross-country road trip in memory of DREAMER Joaquin Luna, Jr., who committed suicide last November.
Luna’s mother, Santa, says the uncertainty of being an undocumented immigrant in the country where he grew up, proved too much for the 18-year-old from Mission, Texas. The uncertainty of the dreams he wanted for himself — in this case, of becoming an architect or a civil engineer, and of being able to go to college — was unbearable.
“He was already going to be going to school, [which was] paid off for by him being a good student; but not having papers depressed him,” writes Luna’s mother in a letter describing her loss.
That letter is what Garcia Blase promised to distribute to the delegates at the Republican convention.
“If the tears of a mother will not soften the hearts within the GOP, nothing will. And I mean that, I believe that,” says Garcia Blase.
Initially, Garcia Blase counted on a much larger group but due to Hurricane Isaac, many were afraid to be on the roads. Her plan was to protest the GOP’s immigration policy and Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s attendance at the convention but now she will be joinging the Florida Consumer Action Network in rallies in Tampa.
“What makes this different is that we’re US-born Latinos wanting to be the voice for the voiceless,” she says. “So it’s all heart, and it was all inspired by Joaquin’s story.”
The group began their journey with a first stop in Texas to meet with Luna’s family; they first picked up the letter and later visited Luna’s grave site. Unfortunately and due to unprecedented health issues, Luna’s mother could not accompany the group on the road, Garcia Blase said.
“We’re laying the Texas tears we witnessed Joaquin Luna’s family shed at the doorstep of the GOP convention,” she adds.
Joaquin Luna, Jr., grew up with an interest in the arts. The 18-year-old played the guitar, sang at church and showed potential as an artist from very early on.
Luna’s last words to his mother included an apology as he told her that he was never going to be the person he wanted to be, reported The New York Times back in December of last year. In another letter he left behind, addressing Jesus Christ, Luna wrote: ” Jesus…I’ve realized 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.”
Since his death, Luna has become the face of the psychological struggle undocumented immigrants are facing in the U.S., as well as a symbol for Dream Act supporters.
Luna’s mother hopes those who oppose the Dream Act at the RNC get to read her letter so her son’s death will not be in vain.