White House talking points on DACA advises recipients to self-deport

White House talking points that circulated around Washington Tuesday about the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program said that current recipients should be prepared to self-deport, according to a Democratic source who obtained the document.

The document, shared with CBS News, says that "The Department of Homeland Security urges DACA recipients to use the time remaining on their work authorizations to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States -- including proactively seeking travel documentation -- or apply for other immigration benefits for which they may be eligible."

Eventually, DACA will be "phased out," the talking points said, in which all DACA benefits that are provided on a two-year basis will expire. Current DACA recipients have a chance to request a renewal, but some have a small window of time -- until Oct. 5 -- to apply.

On Tuesday, senior DHS officials said that the administration's enforcement posture wouldn't change as a result of the move. They said this means that for deportation, criminals who are undocumented will still be the priority, as well as illegal reentrants and people with outstanding orders of removal.

Officials said there are no plans to change their methodology to prioritize certain people, but they also said that there's no way of knowing what they'll be doing in six months, in part because they want to give Congress a chance to pass legislation. Officials said that they will not be issuing formal guidance that will outline how to treat DACA recipients after their benefits expire.

But the administration's policy, officials confirmed, is that anyone who is in the U.S. illegally should be prepared to no longer remain here.

Hours after the announcement was made, Mr. Trump said on Twitter that he might revisit the issue if Congress doesn't legalize the program, which Attorney General Jeff Sessions argued was unconstitutional.

As of March of this year, the program has deferred deportations for more than 787,000 people, according to a Department of Homeland Security report released in June. Since Mr. Trump's inauguration, undocumented students had feared that the president will reverse the DACA program.

Applicants must have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 and come to the U.S. before his or her 16th birthday. Those who have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or three or more other misdemeanors or who pose a risk to national security or public safety are not eligible for the program.

CBS News' Jacqueline Alemany contributed to this report.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.