The fate of millions of undocumented immigrants is in the hands of the Supreme Court.
On Monday, the eight-member court heard oral arguments from Texas, which is leading a lawsuit backed by 26 states, and President Barack Obama's administration, which passed sweeping immigration reform through executive actions.
NPR reports that the justices seemed evenly split
, which would mean a lower court ruling that halted the executive actions would stand.
At issue is Obama's Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA. The order would provide two years of deportation relief and work visas for undocumented immigrants without serious criminal problems.
Texas sued the administration and Monday argued that if DAPA was upheld, it would place an undue burden on the Lone Star State, which would have to pay millions to create driver's licenses for all the new residents.
Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund, or MALDEF, says he looks forward to the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the administration.
"The justices seemed closely engaged throughout the entire argument," Saenz says in a statement. "As expected, the issue of Texas' standing to be in court and challenge the President's time-honored and constitutional exercise of discretion in immigration enforcement received particular attention."
MALDEF represents three South Texas mothers who intend to apply for DAPA if it's implemented.
The Supreme Court also considered the expansion of Obama's other executive action: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
According to the NPR report, the court may release a decision in June.