American Limbo

Olga Flores, the seventh of eleven siblings, was born in a small town in the central Mexican state of Hidalgo thirty-nine years ago. “There was no work,” she told me recently. “The only thing for a woman to do was to get married, have children, and cook for her whole life.” A job in a nearby city would have required a high-school certificate, but her education ended in middle school. So in January of 1998, when she was twenty-one, Flores arranged to come to the United States...

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