When Jiminy Cricket sang “When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires, will come to you”, he introduced the world to Mister Geppetto—an impoverished wood carver— and a wooden puppet named Pinocchio whose dream was to become a “real boy”. Of course, via the happy Disney ending, the duo became father and son and lived happily ever after.

When Jiminy Cricket sang “When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires, will come to you”, he introduced the world to Mister Geppetto—an impoverished wood carver— and a wooden puppet named Pinocchio whose dream was to become a “real boy”. Of course, via the happy Disney ending, the duo became father and son and lived happily ever after.

Imagine the Disney Corporation—inspired by Jiminy Cricket—creating the “Give Kids the World” program which provides a seasonally decorated cottage, meals, and a variety of programs for terminally ill children and their families while the child’s wish to experience Disney World comes true. 

Imagine our government in 2012 creating a proactive and humane response for children with life threatening medical infirmities by providing them the opportunity to benefit from a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) program known as “Medical Deferred Action.” This program—until now—allowed immigrant families to remain in the United States for two-year periods if they can prove that a family member needs life-saving treatment for “serious medical conditions.” This program demonstrated how the United States has historically responded to human need.

Imagine 7-year old Joaquim—traveling on a visitor’s visa—having a dream come true when he and his mother were able to visit his grandparents—US citizens—in 2016. While visiting Franklin Park Zoo he fell ill and was diagnosed with epilepsy. Since then, Joaquim’s lungs have collapsed necessitating a tracheotomy and he has developed an infection in his colon, requiring the removal of his large intestine which results in the use of a colostomy bag. The lack of quality medical care is all but non-existent in his home country of Guyana, one of South America’s poorest countries. 

Imagine 16-year-old Jonathan Sanchez being kept alive with a vibrating vest, nebulizer and special medication. He's battling cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening disorder damaging his lungs and digestive system. It had claimed the life of his sister Samantha earlier, back in Honduras, when she was just 6 months old. The family came to the U.S. legally in 2016 and applied for "Medical Deferred Action." 

Imagine our government recently sending a letter to Joaquim and Jonathon—along with hundreds of legally admitted children—telling them to leave the United States within 30 days or face deportation. 

Imagine the people of this nation living out the creed “We the People” refusing to remain silently complicit with such inhumane treatment since ending the “Medical Deferred Action” program could very well spell “a death sentence” for children receiving treatment for cancer, HIV, and other life-threatening diseases. 

Must Jiminy Cricket and God be the only ones shedding tears of remorse and pain for these children and the inhumane direction our nation has taken? When will we begin to work together to form a more perfect union where it truly makes no difference who you are for your dreams to come true?