New Influx of Haitians

New Influx of Haitians, but Not Who Was Expected –

Miami JAN. 15, 2011

Last year after the earthquake in Haiti, Alberto M. Carvalho, superintendent of the Miami-Dade schools — the fourth-biggest district in the nation, with 345,000 students — expected to enroll thousands and thousands of survivors arriving from the devastated country.

He was wrong. A year later, his district has 1,403 survivors — the highest number in the nation, but far below what he predicted.

He expected most to be poor; Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. “I thought they’d need a lot of government services,” he said. The district made plans to convert an old Baptist hospital in Homestead to a school for 125 survivors, who would also be sheltered there.

Wrong again. The arriving Haitians did not need the old hospital. “They were a higher social status,” Mr. Carvalho said. “Definitely middle and upper-middle class.”