While many college students are dreaming of spring break this month, eight University of Miami law students will be skipping the beach and spending the week working for free.
"Not only is this a great opportunity to educate the community," explained second-year law student Alexandra Fizz, "it's also a great opportunity for us to expand our legal skills."
Fizz will be traveling the state helping undocumented youth apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, a temporary status available to people age 29 and under who are in the U.S. illegally and meet certain requirements. They need to be living in the United States since at least 2007, have completed or being enrolled in school, and have no serious criminal convictions.
"I know how the struggles can be without status and having to live in the shadows," said Fizz, who says her own cousins were deported to Chile for being in the U.S. illegally.
"That's why I decided to go to law school and be an immigration attorney," she said.
"They are young children, young people like the rest of us that have grown up with us, have gone to school with us," said Amanda Roesch, who organized the trip through the University of Miami School of Law along with partners at Florida International University and advocates from FL DREAM, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, among others.
The team leaves for Naples on Monday. They plan to make stops in Orlando, Lakeland, and Gainesville.
The deferred status can lead to a driver's license, work permit, and access to college.