The US State Department said that Central Americans and Haitians granted temporary status, some who have lived in the country for 20 years, could now be sent to their home countries.
They had originally been given Temporary Protected Status because their nations had been deemed unstable due to armed conflict and natural disasters.
But the Washington Post reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ruled those conditions no longer apply.
The Department of Homeland Security now has until Monday to announce its plans for about 57,000 Hondurans and 2,500 Nicaraguans whose protections are due to expire.
A large number fled to the US illegally in 1998 as Hurricane Mitch battered Central America and have had their status renewed ever since.
Under the changes, the refugees could be arrested and sported once their protections expire