As reported in the New York Times, in November 2014, President Obama issued a series of executive orders instituting a program of which would allow many illegal immigrants to apply for deportment deferrals and work permits, and expanding his 2012 program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. As covered by the Washington Times, these executive orders were subsequently challenged on constitutional grounds.
According to the New York Times, the United States Congress did not pass comprehensive immigration reform during the Obama presidency, as of December 2014, which spurred the president to issue executive orders on Nov. 20, 2014. The orders allowed a portion of immigrants illegally in the country to apply for deportation deferment and work visas. They also extended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to include those who arrived as children prior to January 2010 (instead of before June 15, 2007).
However, in late 2014 and early 2015, several states filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the executive orders. As reported by the Washington Times, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas found the orders to be unconstitutional and went beyond the president's authority to set priorities in immigration enforcement and instead made substantive changes to the law. White House press secretary Josh Earnest stated the administration was likely to appeal. The implementation of the program was then delayed.