Woman who fled poverty and violence in El Salvador more than 10 years ago says leaving would devastate her son’s care

She gets to work at 4am, puts on her boots, hard hat and respirator and goes straight through noon. Drywall finishing is demanding labor but it pays better than housekeeping ever did. More importantly, the hours are better for her three children.

After 3pm, two of her children get on with their day’s homework and a few chores, as Blanca expects, and as she needs them to do, because in the afternoon her full attention must turn to her middle child. Alfonso, 11, a US citizen by birth, is autistic and lives with severe motor, speech and emotional impediments. Together, the single mother and her son tie the knots of his shoes, regrip his fork as he eats. If a seizure strikes, she’s there to hold him. But in a week’s time, she may not be there.

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