Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday said beneficiaries of his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will be forced back into the shadows as the result of the Trump administration's "cruel" decision to end the immigration program.

"Some 800,000 young people stepped forward, met rigorous requirements, and went through background checks. And America grew stronger as a result," Obama said in a Facebook statement.

"But today, that shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people once again," Obama said.

"To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel," Obama added.