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Brazilian Mobile Consulate Survey

Washington State University

June 22, 2007

The following report demonstrates how the Brazilian population in New Orleans increased after Hurricane Katrina as new demand for construction workers surged and wages were comparatively high. The survey shows that the majority of Brazilians in the New Orleans area and the region are unaccompanied men, many having wives and children in Brazil. Most migrants came to New Orleans from other parts of the U.S. in search of work, and found work through their connections with friends, other Brazilians, and family members. Most Brazilians (87.5%) arrived in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, with a median duration in the U.S. of 1.2 years. Two in five migrants expressed intentions to stay in New Orleans permanently or for more than 2 years; most intended to stay less than 2 years or they didn’t know. This uncertainty underlines their tenuous legal status in the U.S.: 86.2% reported that they were unauthorized migrants. These workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse by employers, police and are often crime victims. Furthermore, many work in dangerous jobs and 1 in 3 reported experiencing an injury on the job. The report gives a sense of the scale of the change in the Brazilian population after Katrina and their living and working conditions.


WSU TUSPH Brazilian Movile Consulate Survey