(NOTE: I first posted this in the Political forum and soon realized it wouldn't get much attention there, and since it really has nothing much to do with atheism, I'm reposting it in Small Talk.)


DREAM Act student, Joaquin Luna, recently took his life in Texas. At 18 years old, he had aspirations of becoming an engineer...He took his life because he felt as an undocumented immigrant he had nowhere to go. He relied and was hoping for the passage of the DREAM Act in December 2010 that could have been passed with only a handful more Senate votes. (source)


I strongly suspect blame (assuming there is some) should go to his parents for being undocumented with consideration for his possible mental illness, not to American immigration policy. All countries need to maintain the integrity of their borders!


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Why do we need to blame anyone?

It was the decision of that kid himself to take his life.

His parents made perhaps not so great choice by moving over as illegal workers, but so have done millions of others. Millions of others undocumented children don't commit a suicide.

He could have done what many others end up choosing/having to do for getting their status legal, such as find a sponsor for work or a visa, or to marry a citizen of the opposite gender and to file the adjustment of status based on the marriage. That would very likely work as long as he was very small when he was entered in the country (like in his case - he didn't come over as a 3-years old kid alone but with his parents moved him over), and as long as he doesn't or didn't have a mile long rap sheet. (Speeding tickets would have been fine, anything that would have made him a felon not).

Millions of others in the same political situation he was in do not choose to kill themselves.

Most of your arguments seem to imply individuals should be tyrannized by the actions of the majority. That perhaps I have no justification for an action if many others are doing something opposite or different.

That others didn't commit suicide under similar circumstances seems irrelevant as an argument. I'm not sure what conclusion I should draw from that.

I started this post because the articles about his suicide seemed to have a subtext that somehow he was let down by the system and that that led to his suicide.

I don't remember ever saying that individuals should be tyrannized by the actions of the majority.

The article (and other articles about that same teen's suicide) are the ones that are telling how let down he was by the immigration policies, society etc. And as they tell it, and as the teen apparently had told it himself, that led him to do what he did. The agendas seem to focus on US immigration policies.

But to commit the action was still that teen's own choice. 

Sharing the blame is easy when you don't have means to compare the real alternatives. Like the real alternatives he would have had if his parents had chosen to stay with him in Mexico. Yes, they chose to come but what did they leave? What would have been the chances of the kid - or the parents - getting education or work in their old home village or their (legal) home country? What about the Mexican society? Wasn't it the fault of their shortcomings (or the images his parents had) that led that family to move over? Shouldn't their own (legal) home country have offered them some ways or a better way to make a living? 

When millions of people in a similar situation (or much worse for their legal presence in the or any country) choose to commit different actions, it gets back to the individual's choice.

The same argument, "society's view on women and the media's obsession about the constant weight loss and idealization of the underweight bodies of the female celebrities has caused this and that person to get anorexic". Shouldn't in that case all the women/girls who are equally exposed to the same culture and medias be likely to get the same end result? And the people who aren't exposed to the same culture and medias should not get that same problem, or never mind that people from centuries ago have lived with the same problem. So it's probably not the society's or the medias blame that e.g. Catherine of Siena chose her own lifestyle. And not every anorexic bothers to follow the obsessions of the media, and not all even women. (Used here only because with it there is always the talk about blaming the society and medias. Everyone's always just an innocent bystander...)

A man lives in a poor village, and cannot find work. The society does not help him, and he commits a suicide. Do you blame the society? Another man with the same problem chooses to drink - and again I've heard countless times "the society (or work) made me drink" type logic. How did exactly the society pour down moonshine to your throat? If you can point me exactly how the society poured down alcohol in someone's throat, then I will believe it was the society's fault, and how the victim was innocent (when the society held him down while it also poured the liquid down the throat). When someone can in as clear a way show how 'the society' did make someone kill themselves or someone else, then let's blame the society. ("The society held down the gun, and the man in front of the gun. The man tried to escape and fight back. The society did not let the man move. The society pulled the trigger. The end"). Not before. And as the societies are usually made of people, the people can change the society where it falls short.

Thousands die when they try to enter the US - and Europe - illegally. El Tren De La Muerte - you fall asleep or slip when it rains, or get robbed or pushed under the train. Who do you blame then? The society when they can't enter legally? The other society that they feel does not offer them enough opportunities to earn as much as they wanted to? Or the train that is designed so that people can hang to it when it's not for people transport?

Please elaborate how you would share the guilt for this particular teenager's story.

And how would you share the blame e.g. for an illegal trying to enter the European Union with rickety fishing boat from Africa crossing the Mediterranean sea, and when one (or twenty) individuals die of dehydration on their journey.

I personally consider an 18 year old to be an adult in their choices and in front of law.


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