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DACA: Tips on Preparing New Applications and Considerations on Advance Parole

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DACA: Tips on Preparing New Applications and Considerations on Advance Parole

In this program, Immigration Attorney Ruby Powers will break down the decade-old program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Powers will discuss the history of DACA and its current state. With recent updates, Powers will explain options for those who have not yet applied but could be eligible including the requirements and supporting documents necessary for successful results. She will explain advanced parole, options after DACA and the alternatives to DACA, if not eligible.

Transcript

Everyone. Today, we're gonna talk about DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. And it is a 10 year old plan at the time of this recording, and it has gone through a lot of ups and downs, and litigation. And frankly, most people are like, "What's going on with DACA?" So, I'm gonna tell you, but today, we're gonna talk about preparing for new applications, renewals, advanced parole, alternative relief. Now, what you can do with DACA once you have it, and screening suggestions. So, pretty much everything you could ever wanna know about DACA, we're gonna talk about it today. So, my name is Ruby Powers, I'm a Board Certified Immigration and Nationality Attorney in Houston, Texas with Powers Law Group. And I, let's go ahead and get started. I've been licensed for 14 years, ran my law firm from Dubai. I'm board certified in Texas, practicing for 14 years, had the firm 13 years, and we wrote a book about law practice management for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. And, just generally, I would say I'm a big advocate for immigrants rights, love law practice management, and, and just advocating for our, our community at large. I'm also, a professor of law practice management at South Texas College of Law. Amongst other things, but I think the reason why I can talk to you about DACA today, is because, being in Texas where it's one of the few states that has the most DACA recipients, and having been practicing in Texas for the span of the last decade, and also, where we are, unfortunately the place where the, a lot of the litigation has stemmed from, you know, I can, I can speak about what I've seen, and the clients and cases that I've had. So, we're gonna talk about what's the current state of DACA, and maybe go back the last couple years as to where, where we've been. And then, what's next? Of course, we can only, you know, guess, but you know, we're gonna be hopeful, the importance of screening, some suggestions, as we go through that commonly asked questions, that you might get from your clients. And then we're gonna go into the crux of the eligibility, and supporting information, especially if you've never prepared a DACA before, or you want some more guidance, and when new DACA is available, this is something that, it's really gonna be valuable information, cuz it's gonna have been out for about five years at the time, if it, if it comes back sometime soon. And then DACA renewal, advance parole, which is a hot topic, and then alternatives to DACA. And also, what you can do with DACA to try to get to legal permanent residency and citizenship. So, let's go ahead and get started. So look, before we get everything going, we just need to really go into what is, what is DACA? So, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. And when you look at the title, so deferred action, you know, the executive branch has a power to do deferred action. We have deferred action, lots of different capacities. You just didn't really see it in certain presidencies. And what does that for childhood arrivals, I mean that's pretty much the crux of it. These individuals came as children, and they really didn't have a lot of control over what was being done as they were being transported here. And so, I'll just say like, in all my advocacy in DC for dreamers, which is often another word people call DACA recipients, but there could be more dreamers than DACA eligibility, because there's some people, they got caught off, from being eligible, cuz they were a little bit too old from the date that they were, that they made for DACA. But what they, what they say when I go to DC is that, you know, these are the ones, these individuals are the ones that have, like the most sympathy around the country, having been brought as children, and not having control over that. And so, you would think that we already have reform on it, the, but anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. But basically, that there is a lot of sympathy amongst the American population for this, this group of people. So, it was introduced in 2012, I remember exactly, it was introduced in June 15th, 2012. And it was gonna start August 15th, 2012. And I actually was traveling from Dubai. I landed in September, in 2012, back from my year or so in Dubai. And, and man, when it was announced it was crazy wild. Everybody was so excited, and they were getting ready to apply by August, when it opened up. So, it was a stop gap measure to shield from deportation. People who were brought in the US as children, didn't have citizenship or legal resident status. So, the idea was that, it would last two years at a time. It could be renewed, it didn't actually have a technical pathway to citizenship, or green card, but it had a lot of different benefits, including being able to stay in the United States. They could apply for work authorization. And then, you know, with that you can get social security, a real social security number. In some states, that's the only way you can get a, a driver's license. Like in Texas, you need to have some type of a status. And between the social, you can get credit, and work authorization. You can get a better paying job. And it also, would allow, you know, more ease with banking and health insurance. And, there'd be the advanced parole to be a way to get, to be able to travel. And you know, there are a lot of states, that have in-state tuition for dreamers, but you know, for those who don't, and this would just allow a lot more opportunities for grants and loans. So, there was a lot of benefits, like, you know, I think you have to step back and just be like, wow, wow. And you know, the number of DACA recipients was, I believe it was around a million or so, but the number has gotten smaller, because a lot of people have been able to, to move on to some other form of relief, or unfortunately, some people weren't eligible, if they had a DWI or something. So these, so this is what DACA is. Now, where are we with DACA? Well, oh man, you know, that's been, it's been a long road, and I would just say, everything was going splendidly until September, 2017. And I remember that, because Houston had just suffered. Well, not just Houston, the Gulf region had suffered Hurricane Harvey, and we also had a new president. And so, right after Harvey, around August of 2017, when the whole, the region was down and trying to survive, trying to get their homes together. I mean it was really bad. And I were living in Houston so, I mean I live through that. Then, just a few days later, I remember it very specifically, President Trump at the time halted DACA. And so, then the litigation began, and I'm gonna give like a Cliff notes version, but basically, their renew the, they were able to renew DACA, but they weren't able to do new DACA, but it definitely gave most of the DACA recipients, like a mini heart attack, because they didn't know what the future was gonna hold. And long story short, went all the way up to the Supreme Court, and then they said that basically, the reason that they stopped it was, I believe it was arbitrary and capricious, but if they gave a better reason, then they probably could stop it if they wanted to. And then it kept going into litigation. And then, you know, more recently, July, 2021, judge Hannon and the US District Court of Southern District of Texas, struck down DACA, defining that Department of Homeland Security lacked the authority to implement it in the first place, and then more litigation, and stays, and things like that. August, 2022. There, Biden was setting forth away to fortify the program to codify it. That was gonna set forth to go place in October 31st, 2022. And, you know, I just, I just wanted to note something that, because people haven't been able to apply for new DACA, for nearly, wow, five years, there's so many younger folks who are actually, would have been eligible, but can't apply for it. And they weren't eligible in 2017, because they weren't old enough to apply. So there's this, like pocket of people who, who would gladly apply, cuz they weren't eligible for. So, then, so they were, they were gonna put forth this final rule to preserve it, and make everything better, and keep the criteria of DACA and everything. But then, basically, then there were October 5th, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the July, 2021 decision, declaring the DACA policy unlawful. So then, the Fifth Circuit, however, preserved the partial stay, issued by the District Court in July, 2021, and remanded the case back to the District Court for further proceedings, regarding the new DACA rule. In October 14th, the US District Court of the Southern District of Texas issued an order extending its injunction and partial stay. And this last paragraph is directly from USCIS website, because they actually have DACA litigation page, and on their website you can see what is the current status. Because it is so complicated, and even in preparing for this presentation, we, you know, had to basically see what day, what was going on. So, I'm giving a little history lesson, but I'm also saying, check to see what it's going on the day, that you're hoping to file, and be aware of the past. So ultimately, what does this currently mean for us? What does that mean? So, at the time of the recording, the stay remains in place, current grants of DACA and related work authorization are valid. So bottom line, you can renew your DACA, you can get work authorization, and you can get advanced parole, but you can't apply for new DACA. And if you apply for new DACA, they're just gonna sit on it, they're not gonna do anything with it. So, there's no point in filing it. And there was this window losing track of time, I think it was in 20. Oh yeah, that would make sense. It was in 20, early 2021, Biden was put in the office in January, and we were filing new DACAs. We were hopeful, excited. And then when that, the lawsuit happened in July, then 2021, then we just knew nothing. So, I think I have a handful of brand new DACAs, just sitting there. No, nothing happened for the last year and a half. So that's it, that's where we are right now. Okay, let's get started. So, what's next for DACA recipients? So, this is what, this is like the short answer of what I would sell people. If one day, you could apply, qualify for DACA, like you meet their qualifications, I would say, get your documents ready, and be ready for the one day, that it reopens. But, don't hold your breath, have explore your alternatives, and have a plan B or C. Or, maybe those other plans be your A and B, and then DACA's your C. So, be prepared for it. But, and what I mean be prepared for it, look, let's, we're gonna walk through that, but have your evidence and your documents ready, so that, that way you can be, you can apply at the moment, that it's legit available, but that gives the, what we've learned though, is it could be available one day, and then litigated the next day. So, but anyway, let's stay positive. So then, if they, secondly, if you have DACA, they should consider advanced parole, that would allow them, maybe eligible for adjustment status, and, plus they get a chance to travel, and, but you make sure they keep their renewing passports, have enough validity, and keep the DACA current. And then alternatively, oh, ultimately, it's up to Congress for a true pathway to citizenship. And, you know, we're at the time of the recording in November, 2022, after the elections, you know, the headlines read, "House Democrats choose DACA over other immigration priorities in the lame-duck session." So, who knows, we might get it again, but the, you know, the house is proposed multiple times, a dream act, and just to say, like a dream, they call it a dream act, when they're trying to give the dreamers, which like I said, dreamers, there's more dreamers than there are DACA eligible people, because of the cutoff, some people were too old to qualify for DACA, and some people haven't been eligible to qualify for DACA, because it was cut off five years ago from new applications. So anyway, what I'm saying is, it's like, let's stay hopeful, but it has been a long journey. Okay, so let's say you have an individual that's, you know, you're talking to, and you wanna see if they're eligible for DACA, or something else. I mean screening is, is really where the focus of immigration attorneys, the skill, being the detective, knowing how to ask certain things, from the way people answer they intake, the way they answer your questions. I mean that's, I feel like that's where I'm, I get my money's worth is, and my skill sets are necessary, I'm playing the detective in multiple languages, because I'm doing this in English and Spanish, and then maybe another one, with a translator. Okay, so you always wanna double check are they actually, potentially a citizen, right? You know, that member, we're supposed to always check for that, even though we don't see that often. Like, mining for gold, and the, what's that? Then, you know, you always wanna go through the entries and exits. Because, that could affect whether there could be a potential permanent bar. And you really, even though people are like, "Oh, I was a kid." Or, "Oh, I was this, or I was that." You know, you really need to know those entries and exits. Was it with permission, was it not? And a lot, sometimes kids don't know, they don't know. So then, I'd be like, "Are your parents alive? Can we call them?" You know, "Who brought you?" And you know, that's a delicate conversation but, look, the oldest DACA recipient right now, is 41 and a half years old. That means their parents are getting a little bit older, and if you, the documents and the age of, of this whole process, and the evidence, that's gonna start disappearing. So, it's important for people to know their own immigration story, if they came as a kid. You also want to screen for, you know, other forms of relief. And I have a slide about that, or two, at the very end. But you know, are they, is anybody in the military? Does anybody have military parole in plea, parole in place, eligibility victims of crime 245i, council processing, not needing a waiver, you know what, what could be done? Look at crimes, any issues, you know, we'll talk about this, but, like a DWI, would just qualify you. But if it were to, I have a client like this, he was able to get it reduced to public intoxication. So, he didn't lose a DACA, he was able to get advanced parole, and he was able to adjust, and were actually, about to naturalize him. So, all because, they were able to reduce that crime, you know. You know, so that the DWI can be a nail in the coffin for DACA recipients. But, other crimes as well. We'll screen those. And also, was it, when they were a minor? Or, was it a juvenile record? And then work history documents, use your screening to see if there's a potential false claim to citizenship issues. And, you know, what my experience is, a lot of them were, were pretty young when they started working, and most of 'em illegally, and most of 'em didn't have, use any documents, it was just like babysitting, or cash, or something like that. It wasn't substantial. Information provided in any USCIS, Department of State documents. You wanna have a copy of that, they need to keep that with them. So, you know, what has been said to immigration in the past. And I mean, I try to train people about that keeping their own record. Until they become a citizen, they need to keep those documents close to them, even if they didn't fill it out, which they probably didn't. It's to try to get their parents to give 'em a copy, or you know, we can do a for ya, but that takes a while. So, and just, even like looking at their birth certificate, who is their parent? Sometimes people, I don't know, people do stuff with their civil documents. Are they, are they married? Have they been married before? You know, it'll just, has anybody petitioned for anybody in their, in their household before? And, you know, so these are all things to, to consider, and you need to make sure that you ask a lot of questions. And just because, I'll just tell you that, even though when somebody comes to me for a DACA renewal, I still like to ask 'em lots of questions, as if it's the first time. And actually side note, this related to this. I was really happy when DACA came about. Not only did it help so many people, but it got a lot of people out of the woodwork. As they say, it got people to come out and get screened to have a consultation. You know, so many people, I think, were just living in this space where they were just like living their life and not. They weren't talking to an immigration attorney. They'd been told something by their parents, and they were just living in, you know, sort of that state of potential ignorance as to what their options were. And when this came about, they stick, some people were eligible for stuff for years beforehand, but they didn't know. And it, I mean it was just very refreshing, and I just, I just really, remember that moment. There haven't been many moments like that, that just got so many people out to have consults, and to find out what they're eligible for. Okay, so we get lots of questions about our clients. Can I apply for DACA? How do I apply? What documents can I file myself? Where do I apply? Do I have to, do I have to renew? If so, when? Well, you know, these are, right now, the short answer is you can't apply for new DACA, like we talked about, but you can do renewals, right now. And I'm gonna go over how does one apply, and the documents needed. Could a person file, like looks is what I, this is what I've seen. People will file, they would get help for their brand new DACA, but then they would probably, if they thought, they could do it themselves. They would do the renewals on their own. And where do you apply? I mean honestly, USCISS is always making changes. I just always check online, where to send things. And, you know, generally the rule about renewal is within the 150 days beforehand, but what we've seen, 120 to 150 days before the expiration. But, what we've also seen is that it's taking, it doesn't take that long. So, people might apply, you know, five months in advance, and then they get it approved in one month, and they lost those four months. And so, people are like, "Oh, I don't like that." 'cause then they have to, you know, they lose that portion. So, what they, people are, I think, are trying to find a way to renew it, close enough to the expiration to try to not lose that. But you never know. So, it's a little bit tricky. So, these are some of the questions, that you might get asked. And, but you know, things change as what's going on at the time. So, these are just the answers at the moment. So, let's go ahead and talk more about who can, who can apply. 'Cause this is, this is really important, and you need to have this memorized. So, who is eligible for DACA and whether, you know, we can't apply for new DACA, we know that. But the thing is, even I have gotten a little rusty on these details, cuz I had this memorized, but when I talk to people now, I still want to be keeping an eye out and I'll be like, I'll look at their age, their date of birth, and I'll be like, "Wait, you would've been eligible for DACA." You know, and check the other facts though. And I keep an eye on that. So, I would suggest you do the same. So, keep this committed to memory, or somewhere close to you, so that when you're talking to individuals, you keep an eye on these things. So, they had to been under 31 as of June 15th, 2012. So, basically, the 1981 is an age a year, you should remember, if they were born after, let's see, they had to be under 31. All right. So, somewhere around, if they were born in June, 1981, they may, this is around the cutoff. So, you could figure that one out. But basically, that's something to consider. They need to have been at least 15 years to apply, and no age requirement if they have a removal order. Okay, so remember, how I was saying that there's a lot of people who have been able to apply the last five years. Well, the ones who were younger, those, those few people, there's a lot of 'em actually, those people that were under 15 in 2000, you know, after August, 2017, that couldn't apply, because they, September, 2017, because it was, new DACAs were stopped. And then, everyone else. So, you might think, "Oh, well, there's a whole, many of the people who had probably been born in the US." Well, there's still a handful of young people who just couldn't apply. And so, unfortunately, these last five years, they couldn't get the work authorizations, the drivers of social, and they're starting to graduate high school, and trying to get out there in the world, and they don't have the same protections as the other DACA recipients. So, this is the other thing, you had to have continuously resided in the US from June 15th, 2007 to present. And, you know, the other thing is, that you entered the US without inspection, or whose visa expired before June 15th, 2012. Okay, meet the education requirement. I mean I'm generalizing here, cuz the education requirement was pretty much, like a high school degree, AGED, could be in college, or there was these other, like education programs. Like, even just being in a, some type of a technical program, being in a English program at the time. And we'll go into that more details. Does not have a criminal record that will bar them. So, there's like a significant crime. You can't have a significant crime, and there was a, there's a whole chart on that. And don't pose a threat to public safety. So, that's where the DWI comes into play, because it was a significant. Well, it basically would be a threat to public safety. So, this is like the short abbreviated version. You might be a good one to just like, you know, have this somewhere. And you know, I just remember back, you know, a decade ago, is that like, when we first read the requirements, then we had so many, still had some more questions, you know, and then that the FAQ on the website, just kept getting larger and larger, but it took a while, because we kept, you know, we had, people had to come up to us and say, "Oh, this, what about this, and what about this?" And then we were like, "Oh I don't know." And then there was just, "Oh, it was so exhausting." 'Cause we kept talking to lots of people. Okay, so then, like how do we demonstrate this? Right? So, you know, and, and I'll just say it, always look at the instructions on the I-821D, make sure that you, that's the form that you're doing here. Make sure that you look at those instructions to see what they're, what they're asking for, and the form. And, you know, so that, that way you can, you can know, but you know, for the most part, people really haven't done, and, haven't been able to do this for so, so long. So, but, you know, and everybody's just renewing things, that they've already been, they've already done. And I will say, that you can file the DACA application online. So, that is really cool, because then you can get a receipt and response, a lot faster as well. So, I just wanted to make a note of that. Okay, so passport style photos. Yeah, that's easy. And you know, we just send, like a print out a digital copy of something, like we used to trick go after these, you know, perfect little passport photos for, like CVS, or Walmart, or I don't know, whatever. But now, we just, they just, and we, I think we even take pictures ourselves, and just crop it a certain way, so that it meets the requirement. So, that's been a lot easier. Identification. Okay. Well, you wanna have a passport, you know, for those who are Mexican, it's fairly easy. I mean to get a passport pretty quickly, because there's Mexican consulates all over major cities in Texas. I could say that, they can give you the passport within a couple of hours of your visit on the spot. So, you need to have enough ID to get yourself a passport. But of course, other nationals, a birth certificate with a photo ID, a national ID. Now, okay, I will say, that this was a hard part for a lot of individuals. And I think we were even using, like a school ID with a photo on it, at some point. So, that there could be a lot of fine print in here. But you know, hopefully by now, they have an ID. They had to be under 31 on June 15th, 2012. So, pretty much what we would do to show that was, just show the birth certificate and then we would, you know, they could, they wouldn't have to do the math, and they would know. And when we would put a cover letter together for this, we would just put a prong, that they met all the qualifications, like under 21, born on this date, so that they approve that. Entered before the 16th birthday. Okay. Well, this one can get hard, because you know, ideally it'd be the easy option as you have an I-94 card and, or you have a stamp in your passport. But, if you don't have that, and it was like you came along with somebody, and you entered without inspection with someone else, you know, that's the part where it can get tricky, cuz then what we would do is we would show that the person had some proof that they were here, in the United States. So like, if, hopefully they, their parents had put 'em in school, and we could show that they were, or they got vaccines, or they went to a doctor, they were did something, some records from school. I mean this was like, I remember, we were, when this first came out, we had so many documents, there was a lot we we're trying to make decisions. Like, is this good enough? You know, but you might wanna get an affidavit, but then again, who wants to admit that they brought somebody here, you know, and that could ding them later for alien smuggling, depending. So, so anyway, you've gotta find, you might not have a beautiful piece of paper that proves, that they came before. But, what you'd wanna do is show that they were here. If you can, you have to. I mean all of these prongs are required. So there's, you're probably gonna come across people who were on the face of it, look like they're eligible for DACA. They might have applied on their own or somehow, and then they got rejected, they got a request for evidence and then, for whatever reason, they didn't fight it. And then unfortunately, they can't, they can't fight it right now, because new DACA applications are not eligible. So, I've come across a handful of people like that, and it's, you know, it's unfortunate because they, if they would've just tried again, they probably would've gotten it. But that window has closed at the moment. Okay, so they had to be present in the US on June 15th, 2012. So, you would show that again with, like the last prong of financial records, hospital records, school records. And like, I'll tell you, it was really sad when people would come, they would meet all the qualifications more or less. They might needed the education part, but that was easy to fix. But what they, they were just under the radar. They didn't go to school, they started working, they were getting paid cash, they were getting paid under somebody else's name. Like, I mean it just, you know, this was sort of like an exercise in, like a lot of people who don't have status try really hard to, to live in the shadows. But then when these programs come up, like they're basically say, prove to us you were here, and that you meet all these qualifications. So, it's sort of like, there's a expression, the shooting yourself in the foot, by being under in the shadows. Even though they were afraid, and I understand that, I get that, but a lot of times when these programs come out, it's like, show me your document, show me that you did whatever it is. And I mean, I see the similarities with, like midwife births at the border. Like, we are trying so hard to collect proof, that the individual, you know, was born on the US side, and things like that. But like, sometimes there's just things, that just documents don't exist, and you have to explain what they don't. But, if you don't meet, like a threshold of, of that they, that USCIS will, you know, approve it, then you just can't get it approved. So, that they were present on June 15th, 2012. I will tell you a story, that I did have a case where had a brother and a sister, and I think they entered on June, they entered, like on July 1st or something like that. And I filed them together, and I was going with this whole idea of like, well, brief departures, brief and innocent are okay, why couldn't we just have the date deal, like a couple days later, right? So I filed a, I was experimenting, so I, and with a permission, so I filed a brother and sister, one of them got approved and one got denied. So, I was like, "Whoa, okay." So I, the one that got denied, I applied again and they got approved. And you know, oh my goodness, that's just changed their lives. And so, in fact, one of them later got a green card through VAWA, and is later going to apply for citizenship in a few years, and petition for her parents. So, you know, you can see the ripple effect of this program. But you know, if we wouldn't have filed again, or if we wouldn't have taken that leap of faith. Now, someone might say, "Oh, that means they're not eligible." Well, you know, I was creative lawyering, I tried, I didn't, and it got approved. So, it did. So, you never know. But, other than that, this is what you need to do to prove that you were here. Now, let's move on to school. So, it's either school or, or like a military prong basically. So, what we saw mostly was school. So, maybe they were in middle high school at the time, if they were, you know, under what 15, but they had a removal order, or they were doing high school diploma, or they were in college, or there was some other trade program. And you can look and see that fine print on the USCIS website, and that's something to take a look at, especially if you have something a bit more alternative. I will say, that what we did see a lot during this time was that people did not have, hadn't finished school. And so, there was a bit of a, an issue around that time back in 2012, 2013, where people were just, these like fly by night, pay for a GED program online, came out, I don't know, maybe they existed before and I just never knew about them. But what happened was people would pay something for a GED, and I don't think it was a reputable program. And so, then USCIS basically rejected it, and we didn't really know who the, the names of the bad GEDs were, until we started seeing some denials. And so, you really just want to make sure that, whatever the education program is, is that they, it's reputable. And if it sounds too easy, and you just pay, and you don't actually do any studying, then that's probably gonna be a problem. So, we did see that during that time, but you know, you could show the transcripts, you could show the diploma, you could, and for the trade program, like the English program, they had to be in and at the time of the filing. And so, anyway, there was a lot of ways, for people to meet this education requirement, which was so awesome and, but yeah, some people were just having struggles, and I mean, I've seen a lot of people who just didn't get it because they didn't have the GED at the time. So, and for those who just never focus on education, or doing more like work. This was an opportunity to help get them into, you know, on focusing on education as well. Now, the other way would be through like the military. So, they could have been honorably discharged veteran, Coast Guard, Armed Forces, currently in the military, so that this was like another prong, in case the education aspect wasn't being met. So, you could either, either or, and for the most part I had more of the, that 6-B didn't happen as much in my experience. For me, I saw a lot more of the education, and I saw more of the struggles for people trying to get their GED, or if they weren't already done with school and, or we would put them in, like some type of English program or something like that. You know, and, and let me just go back, like the reason why this was is 'cause, like when they were, when they were billing this out to, to get everybody on board, it was like, well look, you know, they came as kids and they're in school, or they're in the military, they're doing something productive. And so, you know, these are like, it's a clean cut situation and they're, they're trying to make themselves better. And so, that was sort of like, why this is a part of it. Okay, so let's move on to, they had to be continuously resided in the US between June 15th, 2007 and June 15th, 2012. Basically, when it came, when it came out. And then, but then they also have to be here, since then as well. So then, for every year, they haven't already had their original DACA, then this packet is gonna get larger and larger, and more evidence, and more evidence. And so, and basically, they would have to show proof, that they were here from 2007 to till now, which is just a lot of evidence. And that they didn't leave. And you know, I will just wanna say something like, if they got a voluntary departure that cuts off, that continues residence. So, make sure that you screen well, because, and read the fine print, because things like that could make you ineligible. Okay. So, how do you do this? Especially if they're like a kid, and they might not have had a lot of evidence. Well, this is when you dig out all those school records, those little achievement and transcripts, or those report cards, you know, maybe they were in the hospital at some point, maybe they had a kid, I mean we showed birth certificates because the, and they were, they had children here, especially the women, financial records, employment records. Well, you know, the employment records a little tricky, because, like they weren't, they didn't have work authorization, most part, so I don't really wanna show that, if you don't have to show that. So anyway, these are, these are just some of the things that you would have to, to do. And I would just say, that whatever you possibly charged in 2012 is probably not what you're gonna charge in 2022, or whenever a new DACA opens up again, because of this aspect, right here, collecting more evidence. And I'll also say, that people say, "Well, how much proof do you need to give?" And I mean I think they generally say, a few documents per year, or if you can show something that spans many years, you know, or, I think the FAQ might give a little bit more guidance, but you don't wanna skimp on it here. You really wanna make, get the client to collect a lot of stuff for you and then, and then make sure it's convincing. Now, let's go over to the economic hardship, financial records. So you, I mean I've never seen this be an issue at all. Everybody can say I need, I need money to take care of my family. And so, you can pretty much just show what your annual income is, what your expenses are, and that to be able to, to be able to, that they need work authorization. And we don't put a lot of effort into this, because it's not necessary. But you know, like I have a few kids, I need to make money, I'm the only, you know, the individual could be married to someone who doesn't have any documents, not eligible for DACA. And you know, these are things that we put in the, the economic worksheet for the work authorization. So, this is why you need to, to be able to explain this, But we, and this is like my least worry of almost all the prongs. And also, you wanna make sure that you have the criminal record, if they have one and analyze it. So, let's just go into that. If it was a DWI, it disqualifies you, if you have a public intoxication, it didn't disqualify you. If it was a juvenile record, well, you know, depending on the case law, but I believe at this current moment, and it was at the time when I filed a lot of these, the juvenile record's, not a criminal conviction. So, it was fine as long as it truly was a juvenile record. There was a debate on whether you would have to show it or not, because whether it was their, whether you had to turn it into them, I got permission from the client, and I generally turned it in, and I don't remember having a problem on any of the cases that had a juvenile record. But you do want to look at what is considered a serious, a serious crime, a significant crime and, and whether or not they'll be eligible. Because what could also happen, it's important to note, is that an individual could have DACA and then get a crime, and then that could make them ineligible. So, then let's, let's like get, get a, when you're screening you, you get a copy of everything, and you do not just listen to what they say. You just look at that record, okay? So, brief departures before August 15th, 2012. Must show that the absence was brief, casual, and innocent. Plane tickets, passport entries, hotel, evidence of purpose copy. I didn't have that many of these. Most part, the kids came and they stayed put. So, but this is something that was potentially an issue and, and a little bit gives you, gives you stress, cuz you're like, "Oh, is this gonna work?" But you know, this is something to consider. So, you pretty much, they needed to, to stay put for quite a long time. Now, if they were, let's move on to if a prior removal hearing, voluntary departure of final order, submit a copy now, okay, so it depends on when it happened, whether or not, it cut off the continuous residence. But if it happened before, like 2007, it generally wasn't a problem. But this is something you, you just wanna double check when did it happened, and does it impede them on any of these prongs of eligibility. I remember this one client, and he had a deportation order from a long, long time ago. He got DACA and he got advanced parole. He traveled all over, like I remember, thinking, "Oh, is he going in trouble traveling?" And I think he got it like three or four times with the, that removal hearing order, and we were working with him to try to get his case reopened, but there was an issue with a prior marriage, is anyway, but, anyway. So, you know, it is possible to get this even with a removal hearing and you know, or I will say in the climate that we have at the moment in November, 2022, I would say, if somebody does have a removal hearing, you might wanna look to see if you can get that case reopened and dismissed, so that they don't have it. Because, this is the climate to do that. So, take a look at that, I mean your jurisdiction and the facts. So, take a look at some of your DACA recipients. Prove that they were unlawful status on June 15th, 2012. So, if they entered without inspection, doesn't really matter, but they couldn't have had a status on June. So like, if they had an E-2, or B2, or whatever on June 15th, 2012, then they wouldn't have been eligible. So, those are the, those are sort of like what you would want to submit in the supporting information, and a packet for a new DACA can be very extensive. So, that's why a lot of individuals do get help, for a new DACA. And when it opens up one day, I think we're going to see that happen. That's why, you know, the CLE is being prepared, because it's been a while, since a lot of individual had to make new DACAs. And also, for those who weren't in practice in the last decade, they want to know how to do this. Or, even the last five years, I remember when early 2021 happened, a lot of people who hadn't practiced before, during what most five years span, or a four year span were just like turning their wheels. Like, "How do I do this, what do I do?" And I realized that, you know, it was really important that I had, had this prior experience, and so, I wanted to put this together for you. So, let's, so let's say we've just talked about, like how to be eligible for new DACA if it were to come up again. And, just what everybody had to go through to get the DACA that they had. But, for DACA renewal, I mean this is pretty much really easy, as long as you don't have something that disqualifies you, which in the most part would've been a crime. Honestly, I think that's the only reason I've seen people, is either they get a crime that disqualifies you, or you get a green card, and you find a better, a better path. I mean otherwise people are renewing the DACA. So, you know, as long as you're eligible then you can, you can file. Now, you know, it might be a question about what happens if you have a crime, you're charged with something like, let's say you're charged with a DWI, but it's pending, cuz you know, those cases can be pending for a long time. I think in general what has happened is USCIS, we, you'd love to get the whole thing resolved before you have to renew your DACA. But, if you don't have that luxury, USCISS could hold it in advance until you get it resolved. But, at some point, they might get impatient, and want you to have it resolved, and they might. But, just because you get charged with a GWA, it doesn't mean you have one. You know, conviction would have to be, you have to knit the elements, and you can get even to the fine print as to, you know, whether you've been, you know, admitting guilt, and there's lots of different aspects. But, if it were to be reduced, and in some, some cases, I don't wanna get into the merits of that. There's the pretrial diversion, and a lot of other avenues that may possibly assist, but let's leave that for another day. But basically, for the most part, renew your DACA, and even if you've got something else pending, like a green card or something else, you'd probably should still renew your DACA, because that, that's something that's constant. Now, should I renew it early? Well, I mean they generally say, you should renew it within 120 to 150 days. But what I've seen is that, like we were mentioning earlier, that it gets approved really quickly. So, you might wanna try just a couple, a few months before. And so, someone says, "I had DACA, and expired within the last 15 months, am I eligible to renew?" If you file after your most recent DACA period expired, but within one year, a new request is considered a renewal request, not an initial. And you may submit a request to renew. If it's been over a whole year, that you had no DACA for over a whole year, then that would be a new DACA. So, I have a, I actually had a client like that. They were doing asylum in court, they had some other stuff, and then they, they didn't renew their DACA and a whole year lapse. And so, unfortunately, then they are not eligible for new DACA, right now. But luckily, TPS came along, it's been his oiling case, and they were eligible for that. So, you know, so many things could happen. Okay, so I think this is something that is really hot topic, advanced parole. So, it's a permission granted by Department of Homeland Security, giving non-citizens the option to travel outside the US, and return lawfully. Okay, so basically, you have to, there's like three prongs, we're gonna go into that in second. But to get advanced parole, you have to have valid DACA, and you have to have applied for this advanced parole. You need to have an unexpired passport, and you really wanna make sure you have, you need to have more than six months by the time you're traveling. So, I basically, you know, the benefits are, you get to travel, great, but then also, you get that stamp when you come back, that you're admitted, and expected, and paroled in, and that could allow you to do some other things, like potentially getting legal permanent residency if you have an immediate relative and or you meet the qualifications. So, okay, all right, so if you are talking about advanced parole for like TPS, like you don't have, it's not as strict about, but advanced parole for DACA, this is the one that is strict. You have to have one of three prongs for your purposes, a humanitarian education or employment. So, the one I see the most is humanitarian. So, what it basically, when you apply, so the form is I-131, you have to show that you have one of these reasons, and then they have to approve it. At the time, this recording, we're seeing about a three month wait for the, the adjudication of advanced parole, which is really darn fast. So, that's great. So, and I, I'll just reiterate, like the stars have to align, you need to have enough DACA time, enough passport time, and you need to get this approved, so that you can travel within the allotted amount of time. So humanitarian, what does that mean? Well generally, it's just visit a sick or elderly relative, or to maybe attend a funeral, services, or to medical treatment. I mean, for the most part we, we start asking, do you have any relatives still in the home country? Who is it? What's their relationship to you? What's their status? What's going on? And then we, you know, we say, "Okay, go, go obtain that documentation, let's get translated, and see what you've got." And then we can apply. I generally say, "Tell 'em this." And then I say, "You go collect all that stuff, and then when you, you know, you can get it or you then, then let's talk, again." Because it usually takes a while. It usually takes a month or so, for them to figure out who are they gonna visit, who has the medical condition, and to get a doctor's note of some sort, like the, the prescription medicines, a letter from the friends and family member they wanna visit, or someone who's a caretaker, things like that. Okay, let's move. So, that's the most common one. But I will tell you, that in the last year, I've noticed that a lot of my DACA recipients are having a hard time, still having a relative. Because people pass away and they, you know, they haven't left for so long, they're really losing that tie to their home country, and to whomever their family members are. They haven't seen them in so many, many years, right? We're talking many years. So, I'm seeing that as a trend recently. So, the other option is educational. So, one client, he couldn't think of a humanitarian reason, so he found this program, he's actually for DACA recipients, and he did some educational aspect on the border in California, Mexico area. And, and so, and actually that program helped them apply for the advanced parole and he's going to that program soon. But you know, it could also be for some semester abroad, academic research. You really, this is where it gets tricky though, because you have to apply enough time, and have enough passport time, and enough DACA time, to, you know, for the stars to align for you to get it to be able to go do that. So, with the humanitarian, what's great about that is, there's really not a set time, that you need to go see that person, or do that thing usually, but when the education, that's a little bit stricter, and then you might miss the whole opportunity. Now, the other option could be for employment, for overseas assignments, conferences, trainings. This is the one I do the least, humanitarian's the one I do the most. But you know, we've got another slide about these things. So, this is what you would want to show, humanitarian letter from the medical professional hospital document, relative identity document of the relative. You'd wanna try to show that connection to the birth certificate of the, the relationship of the ailing relative, or there's a death certificate. You'd wanna show the connection biologically if possible between the, your client and the relative that they're wanting to go see. Educational. This is the study from the program, enrollment, syllabi, the acceptance letter, program specific letter from professor, I mean letter from research proposal, you know, so there's lots of different options to show here, but this gives a lot of good specific information. Employment letter from the employer, showing the need to go to a conference or training, invitation to speak, resume, help establish this. So, this is really good guide. So, what happens when it's granted? Well, they'll get this authorization of parole on form I-512L. And they'll take the original when they leave. So, they're gonna have their proof of their DACA, they're gonna have their passport, they're gonna have this advanced parole, they're going to travel, and when they're admitted inspected parole, they're gonna show that document, they're gonna stamp. It could give you some specific dates, that you have to travel by, read that, know that, do that, you know, I would say, have them give you a play-by-play when they're traveling. So you'd know, you keep an eye on your phone, or your email when they're gonna be traveling, so that, that way you can be aware of it. I mean they should be fine, but you just want to follow all the rules. And, so that they can get back safely. So they, you know, like we've said, there's a lot of benefits to traveling. It gives them opportunity to see family, or to do education or work. You know, we really haven't seen it where people have issues. You know, you really have to, under the disadvantages, like you really have to meet their qualifications. It is a short limited time to travel. You have to have the stars aligned with the passport, the DACA, the advanced parole. And there is a filing fee for that. But, for some people, this is like their first chance to leave the country since they can remember. And, and then with that advance that, that doc, legal entry parole back in, that's like gold, because we, they're eligible for a lot of other options. Now, of course, you give them the advisals, and you know, might have an issue, what have you, but for the most part, I haven't seen that. Even with the story I told you, the guy with the deportation order, and traveled multiple times. Like, I think back when this first came out, like a lot of attorneys were like, "Oh." You know, I think I was too, you know, "We don't know." You know, but we've seen so many people travel, and not have any issues. But, you know, they need to be honest with you about crimes and other things. You know, if there's something else, that they're not telling you, that could be a problem. So, oh, it, it really will be a problem. So, just make sure that they're telling you everything, and you, you screen them. All right. So, we're coming to the end, and this is really, really important, because we've said this many times, you can't apply for a new DACA, right now. You can renew. So then, what do we do? Well, how do we get you to green card? Well, and then, what if you're not eligible for DACA. For whatever reason, you weren't allowed to apply, you didn't apply, you got denied. You were too old, you didn't have the education requirement, whatever, so you're not eligible. So, let's go over all these possibilities. So, if you enter, let's say one time illegally, and then you marry to a US citizen, and then you get DACA. Well, not actually in this order, like you enter legally, you get DACA, you get, you marry a citizen, you, you get DACA, you get the advanced parole, you, you entered legally. Well, then you could adjust, I mean all things being equal, you know, screen, screen, screen. But you could adjust, and this is why the number of people who renew DACA, you know, I think one of the biggest reasons I think, is because people are eligible for something else, and they, and they go that route. So, you could do adjustment of status. You also want to screen for an individual to see, they might be eligible for 245i, maybe their, their aunt petitioned for their mom, or their dad, and they were a kid, or they weren't listed. Maybe they were, I don't know. They don't even have to be listed, right? For 245i, they, and you really have to go back and look at your 245i, but that's why you wanna ask them, "Did anybody petition for you?" And in the past, "Did anybody petition for your parents?" And you wanna go about, like one or two generations in every direction. And even with their partner or spouse, you wanna ask questions, cuz you might find out that, "Oh, well, we could get the, their spouse's legal permanent residency." And then come around and help them. So, but, you know, that they could have benefited grandfather and underneath on or before April 30th, 2001, and they were physically in the present in the US, depending on when the petition was filed, December 21st, 2000. There's some exceptions. So, you wanna double check those. So, you wanna double check those exceptions. This is what, what most people would do if they weren't eligible for adjustment under the DACA advanced parole, you know, immediate relative. So, the short version of this, even though there's nearly no short version, cuz now, the whole process is taking, like four or five years, is that, if they had a, let's say they have American spouse, and they've entered illegally. So, without inspection they would have the I-130. was just one month, one month, two month, and a month and a half shy of being three years. And then they have to do NVC process, and wait for a counsel appointment, and go to the counsel appointment, and then, to get approved. So, that whole thing could take about five years now. But, this is the way that I helped most of my clients, who entered illegally at least once, and have an immediate relative. So, what's beautiful about this is if you're eligible for DACA, and you could be doing a provisional waiver while you're, have work authorization under DACA. But, if you have DACA, you're generally gonna do the advanced parole adjustment route instead of doing the provisional waiver route. Trying to think of why you wouldn't do that, but for the most part, you would, if you have the right qualifying relatives, and visas available. Asylum, well, I mean, there was this argument, depending on where you are, you could maybe say that there was a change circumstances. If, you know, that was one of our arguments if DACA ever went completely away. But, you know, asylum in some, if you're in the Ninth Circuit, they're more favorable to change in circumstances in late filings. But, if you're in the, this circuit, no, which is where I'm at. They're very picky about the one year filing deadline. So, you really have to know where you're applying, and what you're doing. But I would just say, you know, it exists, it's out there, but I wouldn't probably look at it as a primary option. So, these are the other ones to think about. Military parole in place. You'd be surprised, I mean, I don't know, it's cuz there's so many bases that have been in Texas, and I mean I've filed my military parole in place regularly between Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. But, it's really a great program. I mean, if you have certain qualifying relatives, that were in the military, or honorably discharged, or ready reserve, you know, you can look at all the details, but basically, an individual could get, they have that relationship to that individual, and prove everything. They could get work auth, parole for one year, and they could get work authorization during that year, of course, it's sort of hard. But, the bigger issue is that, that parole works is that, like entry if you will, so that they would be eligible for, potentially for adjustment. So, for a lot of individuals who, we just screened for this, and this can be a really great option, and we're seeing a lot of, we're we're able to get a lot of legal permit residency for people in this space. Now, you know, U Visa, you always need a screen for this. There's a lot of people who I think are eligible, but they just didn't know about it. You know, what they, do they suffer substantial physical, mental abuse as a result of a qualifying crime, could they get that certification? I would say, even if it was an old crime, still check it out. One of the oldest crimes I got approved this last year was from 2004. It was a pretty egregious situation. It was out at North Carolina and I was really impressed. There is no statute of limitations for this. It's just people, some of the police departments and certifying agencies, just make up these like, "oh, we're not gonna do it if it's older than this." But you know, the thing is the U VISA only came out around 2008, and so, some of the crimes that were before that, they didn't even know that this existed. And a lot of people don't even know, that the U visa is out there. And, yeah, you never know, unless you try. And the other thing I won't say is that there's some parts of this country, I guess I shouldn't name states, but that just are not as familiar with U Visa, and the certifying agency. So, you have to work pretty hard to be able to get them to, to understand what it is. But, you know, it's possible. The other thing is T Visa, they're victim of trafficking. You can get the Department of Labor to certify that you can, there's, this is something to consider. I know that there's a, some really good advocates who are helping teach immigration attorneys about the T Visa and, and so, just don't, don't forget that to add that into your screening. And I do add those type of questions to my intakes as well. Cancellation of removal, when you have 10 years of more good moral character, extremely unusual hardship to you, assist in legal permanent resident, spouse, parent or child. But that means you have to be in court. And I will tell you that the standard is pretty darn high, but it is something that could exist, and I at least tell people. But yeah, you have, it's defensive and then there's also, special immigrant juvenile status. But, for the most part, you know, this might be for something for the people who were too young before they could apply for it, and then they weren't able to do so. So, for the special immigrant juvenile, you're generally talking about one or both of their parents abuse, neglected, or abandoned the child. And I will say that there's some parts of the country, that are more favorable to the family, order, SAPs, or, or what have you. And, I would just say, that you should explore this as a possibility, and keep this in your toolbox of options, especially if they meet the qualifications. You know, generally you had to have done the family order by eight age, 18 for the most part, for most states could be even older, but for, has to be under 21 when you file the, the USCIS form for this. But, you know, basically it is a possibility to consider. And I'll just say, like in general, Texas is not that favorable. So, it might be another state that you wanna do that in, but, you never know. Okay, well, we covered a lot, and the fact that you can apply for new DACA, but yeah, we had so much to say. I think there's a lot going on. I mean, we got a, we had a decade of territory to cover. So, my name's Ruby Powers. I'm with Powers Law Group. I'm in Houston, Texas. If you wanna stay in touch over Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter, TikTok, or if you wanna just email me of some sort, feel free to reach out. My email is [email protected], and my website's rubypowerslaw.com. I also have a, a business called Power Strategy Group, that does one-on-one coaching and consulting for, in law practice management space. And I'm a Facebook Group called Power Up Your Practice. We also do monthly webinars on different law practice management topics. You can find our, YouTube has all our other recordings, and you know, check us out and, and I'm also working on a update of my book for 2023. 2023, wow, I can't believe saying that year already. So, what I'd like to just say in conclusion is that, don't discount DACA just because you can't file new ones, and make sure you screen for people who come in to see you. Maybe they don't have it now, but they could have it in the future. If they have DACA renewal, and they wanna talk about DACA renewal, screen them for maybe an alternative, that can get them to legal permanent residency. And if you have DACA individuals, try to push 'em towards advanced parole, just so they have that in their back pocket. Maybe there's been times when advanced parole was, you know, threatened, and they might not be have access to that, and the reason that they could travel, could go away. You know, like I said, yeah, the stars have to align with enough DACA time, passport time, and the advanced parole being approved. And the fact that, it's getting approved in three months, right now, is a great. Also, take advantage of the e-filing if you'd like to, for the DACA renewals. But overall, you know, that's, that's DACA preparing new applications, renewals, advanced parole as alternatives to relief and, and screening suggestions. So, thank you so much for watching, and we'll see you next time.

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Ruby Powers
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Powers Law Group

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                                              November 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

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                                              November 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                              Status
                                              Available
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                                              Available until

                                              November 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                              Status
                                              Approved
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                                              November 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                              Status
                                              Approved
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                                              January 1, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                              Status
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                                              November 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

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                                                June 30, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

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                                                November 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                                Status
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                                                October 26, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

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                                                  December 1, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

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                                                        December 31, 2026 at 11:59PM HST

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                                                            November 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                                            Status
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                                                                December 31, 2026 at 11:59PM HST

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                                                                November 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                Status
                                                                Available
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                                                                January 16, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

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                                                                  November 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

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                                                                  Available until
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                                                                  November 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                  Status
                                                                  Available
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                                                                  Available until
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                                                                    November 28, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

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                                                                    Credits
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                                                                      Credits
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                                                                        Not Offered
                                                                        Credits
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                                                                          Not Offered
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                                                                            Not Offered
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                                                                            Pending
                                                                            Credits
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                                                                              Not Offered
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                                                                              November 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                              Status
                                                                              Approved
                                                                              Credits
                                                                                Available until
                                                                                Status
                                                                                Not Offered
                                                                                Credits
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                                                                                November 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                Status
                                                                                Available
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                                                                                November 28, 2027 at 11:59PM HST

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                                                                                  Credits
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                                                                                    Not Offered
                                                                                    Credits
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