In November of 2014, the Obama administration announced a plan (called DAPA) to defer the deportation of some undocumented immigrants living in the United States. In early 2015 a federal judge in Texas stopped the program and a court of appeals kept the program halted. On January 19, 2016, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear arguments in the case, United States v. Texas.
I see three possible outcomes to this case: (1) The Supreme Court could reverse the lower court and allow the DAPA program to continue. (2) The Court could agree with the lower court decision and the DAPA program would, effectively, be killed. (3) The Court could send the case back to the lower court for some technical reason; any such delay would also serve to kill the DAPA program. Whatever the outcome, we should know by May or June 2016.
If the Court does not stop the program, then immigration officials should be able to start accepting DAPA applications later this summer. The basic requirements are: (1) the immigrant has been residing continuously in the United States since at least January 1, 2010; (2) the immigrant has at least one U.S. citizen child born before November 20, 2014; (3) and the immigrant has no significant criminal history. The administration has stated that, under DAPA, it would issue work authorization documents to qualified immigrants.
If you want to dig into the legal arguments and the history of the case, I suggest SCOTUSblog, which provides helpful information and analysis of pending Supreme Court cases. Here’s the link: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/united-states-v-texas/.