Alternative Spring Break

Mar 18, 2013

It’s a time-honored tradition. Spring breakers descend on Miami from across the nation this time of year to guzzle beer, work on their tanlines and hit the clubs.

Or there’s Alternative Spring Break, where you sit in a windowless room, guzzle coffee, and fill out reams of immigration paperwork. You can compile proof of residence, and file for fee waivers. Sound appealing?

In this piece, Under The Sun co-host Alicia Zuckerman visits a group of college kids who decided to spend their Spring Break helping Haitians apply for a special immigration shield awarded after January’s massive earthquake. Known as TPS, or Temporary Protected Status, the shield helps them emerge from the shadows of illegal immigrantion, get jobs and send money home as Haiti rebuilds.

Zuckerman talked to Sheenum Gupta, a third-year law student from the University of  Georgia. Gupta said she wanted to help out because her parents are immigrants too, but she came away with a new appreciation for the power of her profession to influence lives.

You can also listen to an earlier Spring Break sound montage produced by Zuckerman for American Public Media’s Weekend America. Just click on the play button below.