In a memorandum released late Thursday night, the administration stated it would continue DACA, an Obama-era program that protects undocumented immigrants who came to the children.

"Yesterday's action by the administration also acknowledges that granting de facto amnesty to millions of people who knowingly violated USA immigration laws is also bad public policy that harms the interests of the American people and encourages more illegal immigration", Stein said in a statement.

The Trump administration says it hasn't decided the fate of a program protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation, despite saying a day earlier that the program will continue. That Obama policy, known as DAPA, has been tied up in court since 2015 when a federal judge blocked it in response to a suit brought by Texas and 25 other states.

DHS also issued a statement announcing that DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, program would remain intact. The Supreme Court deadlocked, 4-4, on a challenge to that ruling, but the decision by the Trump administration officially ends the litigation. The second one, DAPA, was for illegal-immigrant parents of children who are US citizens by virtue of having been born here.

More than 800,000 people living in the United States are affected by the DACA program.

Trump's moves fulfill his campaign pledge to revoke DAPA, but violates his pledge to also eliminate DACA.

DACA was created five years ago and, as of March 31, has protected 787,000 young immigrants, according to government data. On Thursday evening, the Trump administration announced that the so-called Dreamers will still have legal status and be able to receive work permits, renewable every two years, assuming they satisfy certain minimal conditions.

The immigration policy leaves the clause intact that allows children of undocumented citizens to remain in the United States.

The decision is a reversal from Mr. Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric during the campaign and is likely to disappoint some of the president's most ardent supporters, who view program started by former President Barack Obama as an illegal grant of amnesty.

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly made the decision announced Thursday after consulting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions "because there is no credible path forward to litigate the now enjoined policy", according to a statement from the department.

"If confirmed, I would see my role to administer that program well, as it stands", he said.

The program applies to immigrants who have been in the USA since 2007, were under age 16 when they arrived and were under 31 as of 2012. In an Associated Press interview in April, Trump said his administration is "not after the dreamers, we are after the criminals" and said, "The dreamers should rest easy".