The Supreme Court announced yesterday that it would hear a case regarding President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration.

The justices agreed to review whether Obama, acting without congressional approval, has the power to shield from deportation up to 5 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally and give them eligibility to work without fear.

The case would be argued in April and decided by late June, giving Obama, if he prevails, seven months in his presidency to implement plans that would affect the parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, as well as some people who arrived in the United States before they turned 16.

Texas quickly led a legal challenge to Obama's program on behalf of 26 states and has won every round in court so far. Most recently, in November, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the states, prompting the appeal to the Supreme Court.

Some court observers saw in the court's decision to look at Obama's power under the Constitution a potentially ominous sign. Still, Democratic officials and immigrants' advocates, including U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, praised the court's action.

"I have full confidence that the Supreme Court will rule that these programs can be implemented and relief will finally be granted to millions of immigrants who have waited far too long to come out of the shadows, register with the government, get work permits, and no longer live with the fear of being deported," Menendez said.

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