U.S. President Barack Obama said he has directed the nation's Homeland Security Department to find ways to enforce immigration laws "more humanely."
The White House said President Obama made the announcement in a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Latino groups have criticized Obama for deportation practices as moves toward a comprehensive overhaul of the nation's immigration system remain stalled in Congress.
Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives are at the center of the hold-up, with party leaders saying legislation is unlikely to move forward before the November congressional elections. The Senate passed its version of the reform bill last June.
Many immigration advocates have expressed frustration with President Obama's handling of the millions of immigrants living in the country illegally. The president has taken steps to ease deportations of children brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents, but immigrant rights groups have urged him to do more.