Patricia always wanted to have a baby, but her doctors told her she never would. Instead, she worked as a nanny, caring for someone else's child. She worked long hours, under the table -- from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., sometimes more. She was paid what sounded to a recent immigrant like a decent salary of $500 a week. That works out to about $9 an hour, which doesn't go very far in New York City.
Patricia (who did not want to use her real name for fear of retribution from her former employer) lived in East New York, one of the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods in Brooklyn, an hour and 15 minutes from the Upper East Side home where she worked. But despite the long commute and the lack of overtime pay, she was happy in the job -- she loved the child, and of the parents, "we had a very good relationship," she said. "They were nice to me."