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Justices hear dispute over Obama immigration actions

Marchers rally under the Chinatown Gateway before marching to the Metropolitan Detention Center during one a several May Day immigration-themed events on May 1, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
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Marchers rally under the Chinatown Gateway before marching to the Metropolitan Detention Center during one a several May Day immigration-themed events on May 1, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

The Supreme Court is taking up an important dispute over immigration that could affect millions of people who are living in the country illegally.

The Obama administration is asking the justices in arguments Monday to allow it to put in place two programs that could shield roughly 4 million people from deportation and make them eligible to work in the United States.

Texas is leading 26 states dominated by Republicans in challenging the programs President Barack Obama announced in 2014 and that lower courts have put on hold.

The high court is expected to decide by late June whether the efforts can move forward in the waning months of Obama's presidency. A ruling will come amid a presidential campaign that has been marked by harsh Republican rhetoric over immigration.