American Morning

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March 9th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Saving Carlos: The face of California's crisis

Editor’s Note: Yesterday on American Morning, we introduced you to Carlos. He's 8, uninsured, and struggling with ADHD and severe anxiety. Now, deep budget cuts in California could put his future in jeopardy. Is it fair to put a price on something like that? Today, CNN's Thelma Gutierrez takes a look at the debate for original series we're calling "Saving Carlos."

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/09/saving.carlos.two.cnn.art.jpg caption="Carlos’ therapist says taxpayers will pay the price for Carlos either now while he's is in treatment or later on if he doesn't get help."]

By Thelma Gutierrez, CNN

(CNN) – Carlos lives in south Los Angeles. His mother is a homemaker. His father is a street vendor.

Carlos says he wants us to understand his world. Although he is only a 2nd-grader, what struck me most over the month we spent with him is that already he says he wants a new life.

Carlos suffers from ADHD and severe anxiety, made worse by problems at home.

“I draw a picture about my family because they were fighting,” says Carlos. “Sometime when they fight, it's because when my dad drinks.”

Carlos' father didn't want to be on camera, but acknowledged he has had a hard time lately and financial pressures have only made things worse at home.

Carlos' mother, Leticia, wants to keep the family together, but knows they need help. Their son was failing in school and becoming disruptive at home.

The face of California's crisis Video

When Leticia went looking for help, what she found were clinics grossly overburdened. In Los Angeles County alone, $216 million was slashed from its mental health department. Now county clinics are only taking kids who are suicidal or physically violent, not kids like Carlos, whose condition might not be as urgent, but is still just as serious.

It took nearly a year for Leticia to find St. John's Family Center in south L.A., a free clinic that accepted his case.

She told me her kids are everything to her and allowed us to shoot her son's private therapy sessions because she wants to put a face on California's bruising budget crisis.

Now, just as Carlos is starting to make progress, Leticia learned St. John's clinic also had its mental health care budget slashed.

“Just from this one clinic, seven thousand people will not receive mental health services,” says Jim Mangia of St. John's Family Center. “Out of that number, probably four thousand are children.”

This is where kids like Carlos are pulled into a political tug of war.

“I know it sounds mean and there are lots of different groups who'll say we need money. Schools need money, cities need money,” says Mike Spence, CA Republican Assembly. “All those money trees have been cut down in California, so we have to deal with it by reducing spending the best we can.”

“Does this state have a responsibility to care for its children? Do conservatives think we don't have that responsibility?” asks Mangia.

“The government has over-promised to people,” says Spence. “There are a lot of programs for children, mentally ill, the disabled. The problem is government keeps over-spending and over-taxing.”

But it’s a tough trade off.

Carlos’ therapist, Elena Fernandez, says taxpayers will pay the price for Carlos and other youngsters like him, either now while he's is in treatment or later on if he doesn't get help.

Why the taxpayers?

“Why? Because eventually we end up paying for the emergency services, the psychiatric wards, the cost it takes to imprison someone,” she says.

In California, it costs about $45,000 a year to keep someone behind bars. Fernandez worries leaving a generation of kids like Carlos untreated could mean losing them forever. But what about the cost for Carlos, a boy who loves baseball and math?

“In my future, I want to behave good,” Carlos says.

After 6 months, Elena says Carlos is finally ready to graduate. Meanwhile, his mother says the drinking and fighting at home have stopped.

And at Carlos' new school, his teacher told me he has noticed a big difference since Carlos began therapy. He's now thriving in the classroom and on the playground.

The cost of saving Carlos? About $2,000.


Filed under: Education cuts • Saving Carlos
soundoff (236 Responses)
  1. Tonya

    The most important thing this kid needs is for his father to clean up his act. If he won't, then mom needs to decide what is more important–staying with this man, or providing a stable home environment for her child. I've been where she is–my ex-husband decided it was too much trouble to stick around and be a father to his child profoundly autistic child–the "stress" he says, is what drove him to drink, use drugs, and chase after 19 year old girls. I got tired of it and gave him the boot–why make her problems worse by forcing her to put up with a bum? Also, if this family is here illegally, why is it that they are getting benefits? I can't even get the courts to enforce a child support order, let alone get any real help for my daughter–and she is much more severly impaired than he is. I understand that many people come here illegally because they want a better life, but maybe we should start taking care of our own disabled children before we worry about taking care of everybody else's

    March 10, 2010 at 6:00 am |
  2. Elisabeth

    First, of all, CA was taken from Mexico...remember?? 1846-7....Americans took their land away...So they have every right to live and do whatever they want, especially here in CA...Then where do I even begin, this is a child that we are talking about, who is about 8 and asking for a new life. Do you have any idea how much he must suffer to make such a request at such a young age??!! I am frankly disturbed by the degree of ignorance that has been uttered about this poor innocent child.....and yes, we will eventually pay much much much more, if this child does not get the medical, psychological and educational attention that he needs and deserves. However, this is not about cost, it is about a precious child and his quality of life...I am going to leave at this, I will say no more, because I refuse to argue with simple people...Hopefully, one day you will see the light and progress to a higher level of cognitive functioning.

    March 10, 2010 at 2:50 am |
  3. No One is Entitled

    Life is not a free ride. First and foremost; California MUST deal with it's ILLEGAL immigrant problem. This is at the crux of all of California's financial woes. End of story. Illegal is illegal. I don't care if you're a European, Mexican, African. Pay taxes or go HOME!! Thank you!

    March 10, 2010 at 1:45 am |
  4. Peter

    Just a stunning piece of left-wing propaganda out of CNN. And, of course, Hispanic, poverty, and Los Angeles all in the same piece without a mention of how much of this we've simply imported is priceless.

    March 9, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  5. Jeanette

    The real issue here is that Carlos is living in a dysfunctional family. His parents are the only ones responsible for his anxiety issues, and they are the only ones that can help him. He doesn't need therapy for anxiety , what he needs is for his father to rehabilitate and for his mother to get a job. Maybe when that happens, therapy could be helpful.
    This whole story is a poor example of "the face of California crisis".

    March 9, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  6. Wanda

    The story states that Carlos needs art therapy because of fights between his parents! He has ADHD and anxiety. Even if you don't take up the issue of legal or illegal status, why would taxpayers pay for art therapy. My child has autism. I have private insurance and a job. But I had a very hard time getting my child physical therapy to be able to hold a pencil properly because he was not getting Medicaid. The physical therapists do not like the idea of being paid for each visit at the time of the visit because private insurance does not cover it. This is a problem – not trying to pay for silly stuff for a child whose parents are not responsible enough to take care of him and give him a stable home environment.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  7. Rob

    Because the dad drinks too much and doesnt make enough and the kid is traumatized it becomes my responsibiltiy to take care of him? While in a perfec And to the person who states that California has lots of superich....yes there are some rich, but there are a lot more middle and lower class. When you have over 8 million people in Los Angeles alone you are bound to have a few wealthy folks but let not forget those that the government consider "rich -i.e. make over $150k" that are barely living a middle class lifestyle due to the super high cost of living in California. They cant afford to pay for their own kids, much less kids like this.
    And how is it assumed that a kid with ADHD will end up in a psych ward or in jail? He has a learning disability, he isnt violent or crazy!

    March 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  8. burleson

    i know this may sound bad but when i look at it Everyone is having problems not in just in california i just believe california was already doing bad before the ressesion and like in previous post california has alot of rich ppl and living in million dollar home are you know what most of the celebrities dont even live in california they live in less exspensive places and there money comes from california why dont they live in california and pay the taxes and another thing we are to busy helping other countries in need when we having starving ppl here i am so sick of hearing we need to help out the starving ppl the hurt ppl the sick ppl in other countries not america this story is just proof of what i am saying kids in out own country not matter should get coverage for issue that they may have and make our future as america brighter and by not allowing us to have our medical future looked out for the american ppl pay your saleries and the fat cats dont care they are just money hungry and do not care about its ppl all they want is to make more money and who cares who they have to step on to get it

    March 9, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  9. A-Mexi-Can

    First, it is not surprising that assumptions are made based strictly on stereo-typing given the obvious enormous real problem of racism in this country. It is apparent that those that speak or think like the negative comments above are the ones that are either un-educated or poorly educated and apparently cannot read beyond 4th grade level despite in some cases having college degrees. It is obvious that these opinions are not based on factual data. It is ironic that these same people who complain about what their wicked minds perceive fail to acknowledge or mention the Wall Street crooks, the outrageous huge salaries of executives in not only the health care, pharmaceutical and insurance industries but most any large industry, the loss of high tech jobs to countries like India because Americans are apparently to incompetent to qualify for the jobs or the failing American auto industry due to lack of high quality temming from American workers that just want to earn a paycheck and do as little as possible to do so. Even our educational system in America is failing due to an educational system that is more like a day care center than a place where talented and dedicated teachers can be found that are competent enough to prepare children for a university. And, with 40 plus years of working in Corporate America, I can say without reservation that even our universities are churning out highly ambitious persons eager to move in to positions above their level of competence to reap whatever benefits they can with no regard or interest in doing real and effective work. Instead it seems most of you are content to blindly allow the greedy to continue their evil ways as they take away benefits, retirement pensions, health care plans and huge amounts of money while they sit happily on their thrones hiding behind all the scapegoating that most of you fall for. Wake up and smell the pinto beans folks, or stop complaining and go out and buy another jar of vasoline,,,,

    March 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  10. Rusty

    The article ignores how the pharmaceutical industry & psychiatrists are drugging children for the sake of profit. For CNN, Carlos is simply a tool to incorporate mental illness in the health care debate while completely ignoring the tough 'Anchor Baby' question.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  11. Mike T

    Patricia Brown's comment apologizes for saying that people shouldn't have kids whose healthcare they can't afford. There's no reason to apologize for pointing out what's simple common sense! People should not have children when they can't afford to adequately feed or clothe them or provide proper housing or medical care for them.
    That type of irresponsibility is as much child endangerment as leaving a child in a closed car on a hot day. I very much resent being told that it's my duty to help support these people, even the children. In these economic times, I'd tell close family members who irresponsibly kept popping out kids they couldn't afford, that I could not afford to contribute to their upkeep. I have absolutely no problem saying the same thing to strangers. That's not "mean spirited", either. It is, however, a backlash reaction to the way our society gives people a feeling of entitlement over a sense of personal responsibility.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  12. scott

    This maybe a tough stance but the mother did not speak english on the video. Illeagal I don't know but learning the language of the country she lives in might help with other opportuities. I should feel bad for a kid wearing a GAP (name brand) shirt and palys video games. Oh my so many are far worse off.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  13. pairsa zivari

    Hi

    As Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, i am very sad to hear about Carlos's cases. However, with a help of family and school Carlos might get help he needs. Also, if Carlos's family has financial issues they might be able to apply for healthy families, which allows Carlos to been seen by specialist. Furthermore, some lausd school district might have counselor or psychologist in school that carlos can visit on weekly basis. No matter what route his family take, the budget cut is getting worse and there are a lot of children like Carlos who needs help, medicationa and therapy to be able to continue with their life.

    My heart goes to those families.

    Parisa

    March 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  14. Bobbie

    Two days on the front page? This is a non-story!! I wonder how much the Democrats are paying CNN to put it there!! Maybe his parents should quit 'suckin the sauce' all day, and get a job!!

    March 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  15. Werner

    Hey, as far as I know the Constitution of the Unites States reads "We the people"..not we the selected few...come on now people must we be reminded what it was inscribed on the Statue of Liberty..."Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" This country was created and strenghthen by immigrants and for those that don't know this one of the first solidiers to die in Operation Iraqui Freedom was Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez. Gutierrez was the first combat casualty of the war in Iraq, according to U.S. military officials. He was an orphan on the streets of Guatemala City who hear about America from the minister at a children's shelter; at the age of 14, by walking and jumping freight trains, he made his way to California, where he was brought up in foster homes. He joined the Marines to make money for college. Now if the Federal government allowed him to serve in the military and gave him his citizenship after death I am sure the State of California should be able to provide services to children like Carlos.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  16. Orson

    The message I received from this article – Mom is unwilling to get a job to make $2,000 to help her son and Dad is unwilling to give up his drinking money to help his son. So, why should everyone else give up their income for their son?

    March 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  17. R Miano

    California needs to decide how much money it has and what it wants to spend money on. Yes, we want to do lots of nice things for people, but the sad fact is we cannot afford to do everything. Getting people back to work would be a step in the right direction. Having the ability to purchase insurance across state lines will reduce costs. But running doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies out of business by asking them to carry the burden of care will end up closing down care for everyone. The continual call for more government spending and handouts will destroy the US with crushing debt obligations to China. We all have to hang in there until job growth gets started, debt can be brought under control and everyone takes responsibility for making smart choices.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  18. Peter C.

    "He's 8, uninsured, and struggling with ADHD and severe anxiety. Now, deep budget cuts in California could put his future in jeopardy. Is it fair to put a price on something like that?"

    As a journalist, is it proper to frame the issue like that? You're not even pretending to have journalistic integrity on this issue.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  19. Geoff from PA

    Please deport anybody here on a green card. I am tired of money going to people who are not native from here, i understand this sounds mean and i really do not care. This is not the days of Ellis Island ( which will not be in your kids local Social Studies book by next year) where we allow everybody and their 20 family member here. The whole world is in a economic crisis, if you pay attention to other news stations ( like fox) you would know that Greece is bringing down the mighty Euro, and the Yen isn't looking to good either. We need to cut everything we can ( food stamps, welfare, healthcare for the elderly { let them die there already 80+ and suffer from everyday aches and pains}....... HAHA go US where we spend faster then we can make ( look at the housing meltdown).

    March 9, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  20. D. Snider

    It is a sad thing to see any child who needs any form of treatment be denied. However, this plight is not only in LA. but all across our country so save Carlos? Save our next generation. I must agree though it is not the state's responsibility it is the parents. It is a simple economic truth to afford care for Calos, the family must either gererate additional income (second job) or cut expenses. For my family I took a second part-time job to provide as I see fit. If his parents see the need let them work for it. It is not practical to expect a hand out and then complain when it does not come. I understand people need a helping hand once in awhile but I sadly say I am tired of always giving through both charitable donations and taxes. The American Dream is still alive and well what is forgotten is that you have to work and sometimes sacrifice for it.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  21. tracy

    This article was published yesterday and after all the negative comments they removed the commenting feature and took it off the front page. The first article says the family was unemployed. Now dad is a street vendor and mom a homemaker. Which is it CNN? Why do you feel it is necessary to give them a more sympathetic outlook?

    March 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  22. Aaron

    According to the clinic's website, it is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). These clinics are the safety net across California and the U.S., but they are not "free clinics" as the article purports. One of the biggest challenges if for the public to understand what these clinics really are. As an FQHC, clinics can offer sliding scales and lower cost healthcare, but that is different than being "free." Patients and clinics are suffering from this misperception during these hard economic times because in the face of budget cuts, some clinics are having a hard time keeping their doors open. If CNN could explain the FQHC concept correctly, that would be a step in the right direction. I work for an FQHC, so I am aware of this problem first-hand.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  23. Peter C.

    Thelma G. why do frame the issue as saving Carlos? What about the rest of us who will have to pay for all the programs that are "free" to the public. I'm all for helping out underprivileged people, but a state should only spend as much money as it has to spend. If a state only has 100 dollars to spend, and keeping this program going will bring the state's budget up to 101, sometimes you have to do it. People want to argue that government has a responsibility because its essential (although in this case what is carlos' problem really, he has adhd and severe anxiety – i think everyone can agree his mental condition isn't nearly as severe as some with bi-polar or schziprhenic). However, remember if you only have 100 bucks, and you have to pay for infrastrucure, police, education, a praiseworthy program like this free clinic just isn't as essential. Most regular people live on a budget, and i'm sure there are nice things they would like to buy, but if they can't afford it, they can't buy it.

    Also, your calculations of savings (spend 2000 v. 40,000 later to jail carlos) is dependent on what I feel is offensive assumptions. There is no guarantee that giving him the counseling will prevent him from being jailed later, or that not giving him the counseling will lead him to a life of crime. That is offensive to him, he isn't forced into a life of crime or becoming violent (he has ADHD and severe anxiety! for goodness sakes)

    March 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  24. WhatTheHuh

    being a homemaker or a stay at home mom is a LUXURY. today, if you can't financially afford to stay home, you get yourself up off the couch and go get a job. there are people working multiple jobs to support their families, and plenty of families who have two multi-job parents who work their fingers off to bring in enough money to put food on the table and clothes on their children. i'd love to not have to go to work every day, but i have mouths to feed and bills to pay. and too much self-worth to allow my fellow taxpayers to support me and my dependents.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  25. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    This isn't the problem at all, in my state(Illinois), there's many budget cuts through our mental institution. I know because I talk to them, they hardly have any money left so to say he is the face of this ordeal, is really an understatement and problem for our country. The reality is that is true, we pay for kids like those, we pay for kids who are not eligible, we pay for kids who can't afford any health services, etc. The problem is we need to raise revenue to afford these crazy programs. One of my neighbors sons has autism but she cant afford to take him to the medical, let alone to the doc every often or then. They just can't afford it, they only limit their expenses based on what best fits their needs and sources.

    While I agree with the budget cuts, whether it sounds crazy or not, I absolutely agree that we can't do nothing about it. One of the biggest misconeptions about Health Care reform is the fact that somehow or someway it will lower cost...BULLS-!! No one in their right mind is gonna tell you that it will indeed lower cost, there is no chance. Anyone else telling you how or when is just a moron or idiot. And we know each state is different but that don't mean it will be better in another or not, while you are taking over someones shift, lil that you know that your pay check will pay for his surgery in Wyoming. That's what this Health Care reform bill is, just a bunch of talk with no solutions. Medicine costs a lot of money, is no secret, I'm studying to be a Psyche and they tell me(docs and sources) the many problems and complications that gets involve in a process like these.

    Unless you expect people to work for free...good luck on that.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  26. Marley

    AA meetings for daddy are free. Sounds like an alchol problem.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  27. ElCactus

    You would think thered be better stuff to take money out of

    March 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  28. Tony

    It's unfortunate that Carlos is in such a situation. It is equally unfortunate that he is the burden of the taxpayer. If his family cannot afford to take care of him- maybe he would be better off elsewhere.

    Spending money on him today is no guarantee he will successfully integrate into society as an adult. In fact, knowing how "bad" or hard he has it today makes it seem that he is statistically higher to have problems anyway. Why make a bad bet and throw money at a problem that cannot be fixed by medication alone? His home life looks like it could use repair too- who pays for that?

    Is it necessary to pay for things for him if his family cannot? Why is it our responsibility? I don't know him. I have a family to raise myself. If I spend my money giving his family and others in a similar situation "a better chance", if it can even be proven that it is one, who is going to pay for my daughters to grow up? Based on what I have read of Carlos life in comparison to theirs- my girls have a statistically better chance of coming out a productive addition to society. Since their odds are better- can I spend my money on them instead?

    Just a thought.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  29. WhatTheHuh

    joel in southie-yesterday's story said that carlos's parents were unemployed. if today it says the dad is working, they must have changed that little bit of info in response to a lot of readers fed up with supporting other people and their children...

    March 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  30. Katie

    We are our brother's keeper! You hateful bastards.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  31. WhatTheHuh

    i'd say its tough luck for carlos. my parents always told me not to get myself into anything that i had to rely on someone else to pay for, because that money you 'expect' may not always be there. why these parents had kids that they cannot afford (and why the hell dont they work??) is ridiculous. i wouldnt buy a car and expect the taxpayers to put gas in it for me or pay for its upkeep, nor would i get a dog and expect someone else to come forward to feed it or foot my vet bills. this is a hard lesson, but its about time we start teaching it. the rest of us are suffocating under costs that are killing us, and plenty of those costs come from supporting people like this who take no financial responsibility for their actions. as long as there is not a government health care plan, every last one of us who work and make an honest living will be paying extra out of our pockets for carlos' coverage. dont kid yourselves!

    March 9, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  32. Shawn

    Lorna – I don't know about you, but I work hard (2 jobs for past 3 years) so that I can provide for my family... so my daughters can go to college, so my children will have a solid future. I don't rely on the tax payer to take care of my kids and I don't know why my taxes should have to take care of someone elses. What happened to personal responsibility in this country?

    March 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  33. Tina

    We have all fallen on hard times at one point. I know I have and have never been able to get anything free. And his father drinks and it's the taxpayers problem if this kid has issues? Please, I am sick of seeing people get handouts while I have to get up and go to work everyday and scrape by on my paycheck and pay for my medical benefits. Sorry don't feel bad for people like this.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  34. Carolyn

    Not only is Carlos affected, but so are alot other in the middle class who cannot get any assistance in the public school system and even if you could your child has to hit bottom first (suicide, drugs) where is pre-prevention. Sure you get a revised learning schedule...more time on tests, allowed to read aloud, but you have to chase that program year after year to make sure all is carried out and your child still feels left behind and is. If you live in a rural area double complications and if you find any programs that may help they are out of state and the costs are where you have to put a second mortage on your home.
    Only the rich survive.....you either fit in or not and if you do not it is a very difficult situation for any class.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  35. Steve R. Schroeder

    If you want to know what ails little Carlos, I suggest one look to his parents for the source of his anxieties. This story is only meant as a heart tugging device to get people to pass both Immigration reform, as well as Obama's health care overhaul. Sad that they are using the plight of a young boy to foist the case upon us.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  36. David

    Not sure what I am supposed to be feeling here.
    2 unemployed, 1 drunk and probably abusive parent have a child who naturally has developmental problems.
    CNN runs a puff piece about him falling through the cracks. What cracks? Why am I personally liable as a tax payer for the failures of his parents? The child needs a loving family, not a nanny state bandaid over this issue.
    The movie Idiocracy was right.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  37. Stump

    I don't know, I guess before I brought a child in this world (which I have), I would make sure I could take care of that child. Just like CNN to publicize "pity" cases, while the healthcare debate is going on. Nice job – no wonder your ratings stink – you are transparent (in the bad way).

    March 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  38. nickell_kevin@yahoo.com

    I am saddened by the comments I have read here (although not suprised). All human suffering is the same, no matter where you were born or how much your family has. For all of you who say "not my problem", I can only say this: I hope that if you ever suffer as much as this 8 year-old child, someone will be more compassionate and humane to you than you have been to others.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  39. WeShouldNotOverMedicateKids

    Why are we giving kids drugs to deal with their parents drinking issues?

    March 9, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  40. guest

    Boy,CNN sure is milking this story. Isn't kinda funny they pushing his story heavily when Obama is trying to get American buy in for his Healthcare agenda. Maybe it's just a coincidence.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  41. Ned in New Jersey

    I noticed on the video Carlos's mom couldn't/wouldn't speak english, even though she has clearly been in America for years (Carlos speaks english pretty well). Its possible there are other avenues for helping Carlos, but they are closed to Mom because she didn't bother to learn the language. Just an observation, this isn't one problem of one little kid, its many problems crushing an entire system.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  42. Bryan

    I am a pediatrician in Los Angeles and know first hand the difficulties facing today's children. The ignorance and bigotry of many people responding on this web site is astounding! "Carlos much be illegal since his name is not Bob!" None of us have any idea of the immigration status of this family, nor should it matter. Anyone living and working is important-particularly children and their families. Immigrants to our country contribute tremendously to our country and it's productivity. In fact, immigrants usually take important low paying jobs, such as harvasting the food you eat, that most established US citizens refuse to do or are to lazy to do. The immigrants also usually work twice as hard while doing it as well. Everyone needs comprehensive medical care provided in a compassionate and culturally centered medical home. The American Academy of Pediatrics is currently working fervishly to accomplish this extremely important goal as well as making sure that no children in the U.S. are uninsured!. There are currently almost 9 million uninsured children–mainly because they do not vote. Ignoring needed medical care now will only quadruple medical costs in the future.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  43. RMD

    This story is the perfect example of why the cuts were needed. Illegals are draining the life out of this country. They pay no taxes and receive all of the free benefits. This family needs to be deported and a story should be posted on the cost of illegals to our country. CNN should be ashamed to try to gain sympathy from us because of this family. 20 years ago there wasnt even a treatment for ADHT now its the new craze.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  44. Bob

    Big mistake making ethnicity part of this article. It should not be about illegal aliens. It should be about the budget impact on programs for the disabled. My daughter – 100% WASP, ancestors here since the 1700's – was born with a disability. She functions today because she had access to these programs in California public schools. Those programs are being cancelled now because of budget restrictions. So now imagine this isn't about an illegal immigrant – it's about YOUR kid. Also, read to the end of the article. It costs over $44K to imprison someone because they didn't have access to these programs – whether they are an illegal or not. I agree we need to solve the immigration problem (STOP IT NOW), but special education programs are not the place for that battle.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  45. Dawn

    Just because people are able to reproduce without thoughts of how they can afford to have a child is wrong. Why it is the state or federal government responsibility to raise these kids, on my taxes, is beyond me.
    It is ultimately the parents , if they are even around, to bear the blame for this.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  46. Give me a break...

    So, society is to blame because Carlos's dad is a drunk who yells and gives him anxiety?

    March 9, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  47. Mike

    I think the bigger question, aside from whether or not Carlos' parents are here legally, is why the hell is a 2nd-grader suffering from anxiety?! As an adult in their early 20's who does suffer from ADHD, I will say that it is a tragedy how therapists immediately label any child with lots of energy and learning difficulties to be suffering from the syndrome. When I was diagnosed with ADHD in the late 1980's, ADHD was relatively unheard of. Suddenly, it's an epidemic. Our country is way too hopped up on psychotropic meds. I'm still really confused as to what a 2nd-grader has to be anxious about. While I feel for Carlos and his family, the hard truth is that our country is in a dire economic situation. If Carlos' family want the dollars they work for to actually be WORTH something, then they have to accept these cuts. Times are tough, but they will need to find a way to adjust their household budget to meet Carlos' needs, if that is a priority for them. Most people (super upper-class included) are cutting back. The government has to cut back as well and focus on programs that will strengthen our economy in the long run.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  48. Manny

    Unless we know for a fact that this family is illegal and Carlos in particular, the comments questioning his legal status based solely on his skin color and Hispanic sounding name "Carlos" are at least ignorant and at worst straight out racist! Would we be questioning his lega status if his name were Tanner and he was blonde! probably not, we might still question whether or not it's the state's responsibility to care for his ills but not whether he is here illegally or not. How can we the Hispanics who are here leaglly, born here, ever really trust the "whites" when we keep seeing this stupid comments, based solely on skin color!

    March 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  49. Paul

    I keep reading that the parents are "obviously" illegals in these blogs. I know that makes it easier for you pea brains to understand, but you are making a big assumption. Besides, what about families with the names Smith or Jones? You think they're all set for life? They are out there struggling to. Of course, once a person loses their job, you will mark him as a Democrat, so there is no winning with you idiots.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  50. MAESTRA MARR

    I did not read anything about this family being illegal immigrants. As I teach my students, show me the evidence in the reading. Just because they speak Spanish and do not have a consistent form of income doesn't make them illegal. There are many other families of different races having the same problem as this family. There is no room for assumptions, it is time for action by our politicians to help any child from any race to receive the health care their need to be a functional part of our society.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  51. Matt B, CPA

    I feel bad for Carlos, but quite frankly he does NOT have a "right" to healthcare. Nobody has a "right" to the assets of their neighbor. To say someone is entitled to healthcare is modern day slavery in that it is saying they're entitled to enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  52. eyevibe

    I grew up in a gang infested neighborhood in Los Angeles. My father worked in a warehouse and kept tight enough control on me that I never joined a gang. Finished High School, took out $45,000 in loans to finish college, got a job and started a family. My son also has ADHD, except I work and my wife works and we pay for our child's treatment. Why exactly should I have to pay for this kid when his mom stays home and his pops does not hustle to make a buck and take care of his kids. This is the mentality that is destroying California. Personnel responsibility people. If your going to have kids, be responsible for them, legal or illegal. .

    March 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  53. Connie

    Stay at home mom and poverty are no excuse for the state of the room that child was photographed in. Have her get up off her lazy butt and organize it. If they aren't in this country legally, get them back from where they came. If we weren't so overburdened by lazy people not doing for themselves, maybe our tax dollars would more efficiently be used to help people who for short periods of time find themselves in difficulty. I don't know what fairy tale world people live in who think everything should be handed to them. We don't even know from this story if the family has ever paid taxes, but they sure do want the handouts.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  54. Phillipatomus

    To others making comments:

    Why is it so obvious his parents are illegal. I didn't see one mention of their lack of English or anything else that would point in that direction. Some of you are coming off as very RACIST.

    Aside from that I will say what no one else will. Lets cut Defense spending to only payment for our service men and women. Lets go one year without new equipment, research, etc. I mean the defense budget is what 700 billion, of with about 150 is for paying service members. The extra 550 billion can fix alot of the social problems pretty quick. Just one year people.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  55. Diogenes

    Lorna
    By your post we should take on the problems of all children world wide. Because I will argue that kids in any other country are no less deserving that the people who broke into our country and are stealing from our economy. You can vote for more hope and change and we can send free health care to all the worlds kids, comliments of the quickly endagered US taxpayer.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  56. Mitch

    The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' -Jesus Christ

    It is interesting to see that so many Americans care more about their tax dollars than they care about helping those in need.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  57. Melissa

    Patricia,
    There are some people that have more then a college education but may have lost their job in the recent 'job cuts.' Getting a job at walmart is temp until I find something else, because I dont want to live off the system!

    March 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  58. Jeff

    Why is the government turning a blind-eye to the vast number of illegal immigrants coming into California. Their kids are overcrowding our classrooms, overcrowding our emergency rooms, getting free social services, free school lunches and the mexican gangs are filling up our jails, which we, the taxpayer are paying for. When are we going to stop the bleeding!!!

    March 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  59. Diogenes

    Lets see a probable illegal family with parents that are causing their children psychological problems. You are right this is the face of the California crisis. If we can not deport them by US law we should just dump them on other states and let their bleeding hearts take care of them.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  60. Hernan R.

    I am an american citizen, and yes they may be illegal immigrants. But so were all of your parents when they came to this country, give them a social security number and allow them to work and pay taxes in their income.

    and Carlos was probably born here anyway from immigrants like the rest of this country, somewhere in our family tree.
    ...

    March 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  61. Ibeth

    I am sorry did I miss something in this article? No where in the article does it state this family is here illegally. And just because Carlos's father is a vendor does not mean he does not pay taxes. People need to stop and look at the big picture. This child and other children are in need of help, they are the future. Sitting there with your heads in the clouds portraying to be better than them is not helping the situation. I just hope your children are not one of the ones who get cut off from any medical clinics.....

    March 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  62. Joe

    Tell everybody where we can send money to help this poor kid. Maybe CNN and can set up a fund.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  63. Austin

    I have nothing to say other than this is what we are becoming, people who depend on the State to take care of our OWN children. It's pathetic.

    I was born with ADD, and does the state help me? No, my parents did. Considering I am just white kid of SUPPOSED privilege I would never be granted anything from the state, as my white parents are expected to cover my costs, doubly so in terms of school tuition. The latter of which I don't receive help because of my skin color, all the while my Hispanic peers, many of whom had lower scores than I did graduating high school, still got academic assistance based not on performance, but entirely on their skin-color.

    Save the sob stories for your bleeding heart liberals, who on average earn more but give less. I am sick of this gross and inaccurate double-standard. In today's world it should be very clear, well at least to anyone of decent intelligence. That is, that liberals are fine giving others money away, so long as it is not their own.

    I so often hear how the "Southern States" are the worse for taking federal money (i.e. welfare), well you racist ignorant people, most minorities live in the South, but please, go about your ways, continue to believe what you want to, not what is truth.

    On a more personal note, I grew up a MINORITY in my schools, and yes, I am white. However, I am from Texas. And let me tell you, the kids that I saw who would succeed in life, that is, become a hardworking member of society and school, were primarily my white friends. This is just another misplaced attacked at the "status quo", however the liberal/minority class would like to define it. It is entirely predicated upon emotion, and ladies and gentlemen, emotion has no place in politics. Of course if this AXIOM were to be applied Liberals would have zero footing to stand on.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  64. Bmorechick27

    Did I miss something as well? Where does it say that this family are illegal immigrants?

    March 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  65. sharon

    I really do feel sorry for little Carlos. However, I do not think it is reasonable to believe that we need to "save" him from an alledged system that "doesn't care" when his problems begin at home. If I were an alcoholic parent (and indeed, I grew up in a very unsafe alcoholic home), I would not expect the system to come and rescue me (and indeed, no one did). I grew up, educated myself, got a job, and supported myself and my kids in a non-alcoholic home. Parents need to take responsibility for their own behavior; if they can't figure out a way to get it together, there's birth control. We cannot rescue everyone. People need to figure out a way to bail themselves out, and stop pointing fingers.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  66. Lewis ingham

    ive read the article twice and i cant see where it says that carlos and his family are illegal immigrants...Are most of you assuming he is an illegal immigrant solely based on the fact that he is hispanic?

    March 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  67. Paul Overton

    Once again, use the poor children to make the budget issue. Even ignoring the illegal immigration aspect, these type of stories always make it sound like everything else has been cut to the bone and now we are effecting the children. If this was such a big prioriy, I'm absolutely positive that some other program or coruption could be reduced to fund it. It always seems to happen that as money gets tight, "We have to cut teachers, eliminate sports, cut school funding . . . If we don't raise taxes!" BS, cut the buaracrat's salaries or benefits, cut the fat and pork. . . . Fire – Police – Emergency Response – These are the sacred cows. Everything else needs to pbe prioritized.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  68. Ana

    Um, yeah. Let's re-read the article, okay? It's not obvious that Carlos' parents are illegal immigrants. No where in this article does it say that, and just because Carlos' mother speaks Spanish doesn't mean she's illegal.

    And the fact is that even if Carlos' parents are here illegally, it doesn't mean that he is. And really, if he is illegal, the therapy is still cheaper than a future in jail (which we would still pay for if he broke the law here, before paying to deport him).

    Any one of you who assumes that Carlos is not worth our time or concern because his parents "seem" illegal is a racist. You're creating judgments based on appearance, not fact, and are throwing away the worth of this child. His conditions are highly treatable, but the consequences of not treating them are highly dangerous – a life of crime, the potential for anxiety to become paranoia, etc.

    In the spirit of openness, I speak Spanish fluently and am ADHD with OCD. I am also a college-educated woman who is currently working on a PhD in English. Now, if this were my white, ancestrally Irish child, who also had ADHD, and I appeared speaking in Spanish about his difficulties, would you make the same judgment?

    March 9, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  69. Lib

    Heck, I have worked in this country for over 40 years and paid taxes. I can't get decent health care either. I am now on disability which is barely enough to pay my bills. My doctor says I can not return to work. Out of my disability comes a payment for my student loan. Excuse me for not having room to feel sorry for someone else right now. Times are hard. I have an teenager who is going to college this Fall and I have not begun to figure out how she will go. But we forge on as if she will. I have only one request, please if you have little money, stop bringing so many children into this world. I worked hard to keep my child in a private school until I was disabled.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  70. Ray

    I'm quite honestly sick of the argument "It's for the children!" That seems to be the justification to every argument in favor of expanding government and ratcheting up taxes and fees. Jesus I could frame an argument about how we need to regulate carbs in order to protect the children... oh wait NY is already trying something like that...

    Carlos has my absolute sympathy but to be fair we also need to have sympathy for the average CA tax payer. How much are they being ordered/forced to pay every day. Every dollar the government extorts from them by force (and lets be honest that is exactly what taxation is and will always be) is a dollar less they spend on their families. Is that fair? At what point does CNN find some sympathy for the people that are paying taxes in this country... you know the people working and producing? And I mean the sympathy that doesn't manifest itself in "well we'll tax people of a higher income bracket than you even more!"

    March 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  71. Not from CA

    Regardless of whether or not the family is here illegally, it is the parent's responsibility to take care of their children. I understand assistance is needed during tough times but it should not be a permanent part of their lifestyle. I work every day and so does my husband, I take care of my children both emotionally and financially. It is MY responsibility as their mother to do that. I would absolutely love to be a "homemaker" but I can not afford that luxury. Before I had childrent, I worked fulltime and when to school at night so I could be better qualified and make a decent living. While I feel bad for this child, it is not my family's responsibility to take care of him, its theirs.
    If they are illegals, its time to go back home.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  72. JWalraven

    If they weren't illegal, then Carlos would qualify for Medicaid of some type of SCHIP program – which means the government would still be paying for his medical bills, but it goes to further the idea that these are illegals. We have the same problem in North GA. Nobody hates illegals, and we all understand why they come here – that being said, it does not mean that we have to be ok with allowing people to come here from different countries and be allowed to bankrupt our social services. We have many low income – working – families that are here legally who do not get care either. Where we are from, it's much easier for the illegals and their children to get social services than it is for citizens to do so. They have exploited our system and come here with the idea that we owe them something for their existance. It's a way of life for them. I hate to sound crude – and if you're wondering, yes, I normally am a bleeding heart liberal that voted for Obama and I do support serious Health Care Reform, that being said, I've never felt like it was ok to come to a country and then demand that the people in that country take care of you. I hate it for the child, but it's "survival of the fittest" in its most basic form. You will find people that feel sorry for him and that want to give it all away, but when you do a story about illegals trying to milk the system, then you won't find many bleeding hearts – especially when the reader is from a part of the country that has seen more than it's fair share of being taken advantage of. And yes, I feel that I am in a position to speak freely. I am a single parent of 3 children who is lower middle class and pays for health insurance – that I can barely afford – to make sure that me and my children are taken care of. It's called responsibility!

    March 9, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  73. Dan

    The very fact that this poor kid had to resort to a free clinic tells me that his family is here illegally. Otherwise, being below the poverty level (I assume), he would be entitled to state health care in California. Carlos' story is truly, truly sad but no one (should) get a free ride, especially if you're an uninvited guest.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  74. JP

    California is going broke in large part because of illegals. It spends billions each year to educate them. I don't know if Carlos is a citizen, if he is I will bet he was born here and his parents are illegal. This country is so stupid about giving citizenship someone born from illegals. We need to change the law regarding who is a citizen we are the only 1st world country that still does this. His parents should be sent to the country they are citizens of.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  75. Harper

    Exactly where in the article does it say that these people are illegal? Please point out the paragraph, because I'm certainly not seeing it. I've seen plenty of legal Americans of all races who are in similar situations. So why is it that people are coming out in mass to declare these people illegal immigrants? Their names? Good grief.

    Also- exactly how does 'sacrificing' hundreds of children in need of mental health treatment create a self-sufficient population? I'd be interested to see the medical study that shows denying people the treatments and medications they need magically improves society.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  76. GNT

    lynne, so what you are saying is that we should refuse health care to children because of their legal status? These children are here not by choice and if they need health care we should help them out. We help out other countries when they are in need, then why not help the ones that are already here.

    Stop been racist.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  77. Mel

    I feel bad for Carlos but how about the kids of parents who are here legally and didn't break any laws getting help? Calif is the highest taxed state in the US, Calif taxpayers pay to educate illegals and pay for medical treatment for illegals while our taxes keep going up the Federal government does nothing to keep Illegals out of the country. Why should Calif workers get stuck with this burden? People and companies are just going to leave Calif as taxes continue to go up. This is not Calif's problem plain and simple

    March 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  78. Jake

    According to Republican politicians he chooses to be in the condition he's in so he's on his own. After all, in America anyone can be successful so long as they work hard. And since all the Republican senators made success of themselves, so can Carlos.

    According to Republican supporters, judging from his name he's probably Mexican anyway. His parents probably came here illegally so why should they flip the bill to help him out? All we'd be doing is perpatuating the problem of illegals coming to this country only to leach off our hard-earned money and resources! Besides if we help Carlos we'd be condoning illegal acts and disrespecting those that came to this country legally...well, technically all those who came "legally" after the United States was established as an indpendent nation. Because you know, previously we took land from those that owned it (the natives) illegally without even bothering to show our passports.

    Ironically, most conservatives claim to be "Christian", yet if you asked WWJD (what would Jesus do?) in this case. It is most likely the exact opposite of what conservatives think is the proper thing to do.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  79. John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

    Yes, it is unfortunate that Carlos can't get free medical care, but either can I, for I have no money for insurance. Some say the health care package that Obama wants may pass, but it will not exclude illegals for free health care, who will pay for that and how many are now in the State now to receive it? California is broke ($540 billion in debt) and will more than likely need, eventually, a bailout by the Federal govt. If this happens the government will then tell California what it will do and what it can not do. We in California will have no choice if this happens. And what will happen when the Federal government goes broke with a huge mounting foreign and domestic debt, what then. Then, it will be a new world government, a new currency, and bye bye to the Republic of United States of America as you know it now. You say this will never happen, never is a long time and it can very easily happen, like a thief in the night, very quick. Pay attention and watch!

    March 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  80. Mr T

    Rich people hire us, pay our salaries,pay our ssi,medicare,disabilty ins and health ins.Have not we learn that when the rich on wall st are not making lots of money thet states do not collect the share and can not pay for their program sand services we want. I have never work for a poor corp. unleess i am volunteering.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  81. Out Side The Box

    No where in the article does it mention their citizen status. I'll assume they are "illegal" immigrants because if they weren't it would have been mentioned. Sorry, I have no sympathy for adults who knowingly break the law and then have the audacity to expect "legal" citizens to pay for their shortcomings. First off, LEARN TO SPEAK ENGLISH if you want to get ahead in AMERICA! My grand parents immigrated "legally" from Poland; learn English; started a construction company; and did well for themselves. Why are Mexicans somehow excempt from learning to speak English like the other 100's of immigrants to this great country!?

    March 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  82. Mike

    ADHD isn't even a real disease. It didn't exist until the pharmaceutical companies invented a drug protocol they could sell. Then, they invented a disease, preyed on parents' insecurities, and now kids are dope fiends. Total BS.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  83. Shaun

    Are we suppose to believe ADHD is seriously a cause for concern?

    March 9, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  84. Nick

    The tone of this article is frankly inappropriate and disgusting. If the authors feel so strongly about helping Carlos, why can't they donate the $2,000 themselves–especially if it's such a small sum, as they imply? People like that need to get off their high horse and stop acting as though they know what's best for everyone else in the world.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  85. Sue

    Seems like Carlos problems were created by his parents esp a drinking father. I would bet money too they are drawing a disability check on the boy and probably all are illegals. Even if they arent you can bet money the tax payers are supporting them.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  86. JJ

    The problem...is a lack of personal responsibility. Carlos' family hasn't merely fallen on hard times and in need of a hand to help pick them up from the ground. It certainly appears that they are not (and never have been) able to pay for their shelter, food, and transportation without a handout from the government. And...this is what they are teaching their children...children they chose to have even though they didn't think about how they will feed them, clothe them, etc. Funny how the mother cannot speak English, but they can do the paperwork to ensure they are getting all of the government benefits that help them live day to day. And I won't applaud a guy who is a street vendor who may or may not be out there for an entire day but then spends his earnings on getting drunk. Again, lack of personal responsibility. There are FREE classes to learn English. There are FREE services to help find jobs and in some states, and to learn certain skills. Learn to fish, people! This is not just a California thing...go to any state...there are lazy people with no sense of responsibility all over this country. And a whole heck of a lot of them are NOT illegals.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  87. NRMD

    Where does America will turn in 50 years? Pacific or Atlantic? Really take a pick. GOP and FOX will take into Pacific and Dems and CNN will take to Atlantic unless I create a third party for middle class Americans. We will have Oceans full of debt. Now America is taking care of so many but later no one can take care of America? we are getting ready to swallow American national pride.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  88. Gary, Sacramento

    I'm glad Carlos got some help. I'm shocked that he was cured of ADD for only $2,000. Just think how bad his plight would have been if he were one of the 46 million who don't have access to health care.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  89. Soni

    Lynne, where does it say anywhere in this article that the family is illegal??? Is it because Carlos is brown skinned? Or the Hispanic sounding last name? Makes me sad how people like you automatically make assumptions about hispanics. My children are brown skinned with a traditional hispanic last name AND we speak Spanish fluently....however I am a third generation AMERICAN!!!! American born with Hispanic roots. Please educate yourselves and stop the spread of ignorance!

    March 9, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  90. Texas

    Well the burden of illegal immigrants on American healthcare is too great. Our Medicare system will run dry before our hard working American citizens will ever see a penny of their tax dollars because it is all going to illegal immigrants. If they want to receive the benefits our country has to offer, then they should complete the requirements to become legal American citizens and pay their taxes like everyone else. But until our US government reforms immigration in this country, you and I will be forced to support any illegal and all their “American” born anchor babies who penetrate our borders, and we will sit helplessly while they take our jobs and all the services paid for by our hard earned tax dollars, leaving all of us high and dry when it comes our turn to receive benefits. You say “Poor Carlos”… I say “poor us”. We have no power over our own country anymore. Write to your US Representatives and to President Obama and tell then what you think of your tax dollars going to illegal immigrants! .

    March 9, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  91. zoose

    8yo's with "ADHD" and "anxiety" need better parents, not free clinics.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  92. Scott

    Momma wont work and Daddy has a drinking problem...why is this kid the governments problem? I feel bad for the kid, but it sounds like his parents need to get their lives in order and provide the care they owe their son.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  93. ethan

    Not.

    My.

    Problem.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  94. Adriana

    Well, i see many people on here are saying, oh he's an illigal go home ahh..if only it were that easy! ..i work hard 50 hrs a week and i can barley make it and i only support my self and my 8 year old daughter who has been diagnosed with adhd about 2 months ago.In California, it costs about $45,000 a year to keep someone behind bars...so imagine some people are in there for stealing a snickers bar from 7-11 on the third strick thats life!..WTF...oh but yet they had to cut funds for vison and dental medical if your over the age of 21....this makes no sence healthcare should be #1...

    March 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  95. Jo Gardiepy

    What did families years ago do with troubled children? They worked it out as families. Our nation has become so dependent on the government to "fix" every person and every problem that we're going bankrupt. Take some responsibility and take care of your families with loving values and quit thinking someone else should do it for you!!!

    March 9, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  96. sheila

    This child and his family are probably here illegally. if they need continuing care, they should return to their country which must provide it. Not us.l We can and should give emergency help to everyone, not ongoing care. Thats for their own country. If that country cant do it, stay and change the system there. Dont runaway to the US and blame us for not taking care of you.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  97. Gima Walt

    I have a hard time feeling empathy. And WHY should the "rich" have to pay? WHY should the "rich" be penalized. WHY should any hard working legal American have to manditorily pay for someone else's misfortune? Even if they are legal citizens....they are not my problem.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  98. SunsetLA

    Why do these type of couples (low skill, immigrants, lack of education) have so many kids? I guess the expectation is that 'society will take care of whatever and however many kids we bring into the world'. Society is TIRED of supporting. I just can't understand what goes thru the heads of people in this condition. The elevator doesn't go to the top floor. If you don't have the means to give your children a better future, DON"T HAVE KIDS. It all becomes a vicious circle of poverty, and generations that will likely live at the fringes.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  99. Nicole

    Perhaps I missed it but where in the article or video does it say that this family is here illegally? Or am I to assume that automatically since they live in South L.A. and have a Hispanic name?

    Maybe what we should be focusing on are the needs of the children and people less fortunate than those of us who are lucky enough to sit here on our computers with high-speed internet, passing judgement on a family that we know only through a few paragraphs, and whose son is in dire need of help.

    It doesn't matter where he came from or how he got here – every child is our responsibility, and to listen to you bigots sit here and say they don't deserve it because they are here illegally is disgusting and immoral.

    I wouldn't wish ADHD or other mental illness on my worst enemy, and I would like to see how one of you would react if your little prince or princess was denied care in this situation.

    Come on readers, elevate yourselves and stop playing the immigrant card. This could be you tomorrow and you might be singing a different tune. Instead of pointing fingers, come up with a solution.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  100. L

    Carlos' mother should get a JOB. Serioulsy, if you cannot make it on one pay check. The story says she is a homemaker. That is not enough. The article asks who can Carlos turn to. How about some personal responisbility, and turn to his PARENTS.

    Like I said, mom get a job. Dad get a better job.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
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