Communities Welcome Haitian Refugees

It's the middle of the school year in Florida, but for 13-year-old Francesco Saih it's only day two.

"My new friends call me the Haiti survivor," Francesco said.

Francesco is one of seven quake survivors at a massive middle school in Weston, Florida. His parents drove across the border to the Dominican Republic so he could be someplace safe and stable, reports CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella.

"Thinking about the earthquake, the shock I got, I really don't want to go back," Francesco said.

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Cash-strapped school districts in South Florida have absorbed more than 175 children like Francesco, many of whom have U.S. passports, or relatives here.

"How many can you handle?" Cobiella asked Mark Kaplan, the principal of Falcon Cove Middle School.

"As many as we can, as many come to us, we'll handle it," Kaplan said.

Retired teachers are being asked back and grief counselors are ready to help.

The Archdiocese of Miami is drafting a plan to fly hundreds, maybe thousands here - it's called Pierre Pan, after the Pedro Pan flights in the 1960s when Cubans opposed to the revolution sent their children, more than 14,000, to the United States.

"I am absolutely convinced it will happen," said Randy McGrorty, a lawyer for Catholic Legal Services.

For now, the Archdiocese is trying to help thousands of Haitians already in the United States. As many as 200,000 are expected to apply for temporary protective status, an 18-month reprieve from deportation, and a permit to work.

Vetiel Blanc has five children.

"It is a glory," Blanc said. "It is a glory for all my family."

Before the earthquake about 30,000 Haitians were set to be deported. All will now have a chance to apply for temporary protective status.