CHICAGO (CBS) — As one of those who encouraged President Barack Obama to use his executive authority to shield millions of immigrants from deportation, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin was hoping the Supreme Court would uphold the president’s initiative.

The high court has agreed to review the president’s executive action on immigration from 2014, which has since been tied up in court, after 26 states – mainly with Republican governors – challenged the legality of the maneuver.

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A federal judge has blocked the president’s executive orders from taking effect, ruling the states have standing to challenge the plan, but has not ruled on the constitutionality of the president’s actions. A federal appeals court upheld the injunction, prompting the Obama administration to appeal directly to the Supreme Court for an immediate review on the constitutionality of the plans.

The president’s orders would allow about 5 million immigrants now in the U.S. illegally to stay by applying for a three-year work permit. They also must pass a background check; register with the federal government; submit fingerprints, iris scans, and photographs; pay a fee; and show their children were born before the date of the president’s order.

While Republicans have said the president’s immigration actions overstepped his authority, Durbin said Obama did the right thing by allowing some young immigrants and their families to stay in the U.S. and go to work or school if they follow the protocols laid out by the president.

Durbin noted the immigrants included in the program would have to renew their registration every few years.

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“That, to me, is reasonable, considering that we don’t have the laws on the books that we should,” he said.

The senator said Congress repeatedly has failed to pass comprehensive immigration reforms, and the Republican-controlled House would not even call a bill for a vote.

Although the president’s program is on hold, more than 600,000 undocumented immigrants already have applied to stay and work legally in the U.S.

“The stories of their lives will make my case that … these individuals are [an] important part of the future of our country,” Durbin said.

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The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the president’s actions in April, and likely will decide by late June.