President Obama has been accused by members of the Republican party of making an illegal power grab following his pushing through of new immigration laws in the US.
Now millions of immigrants who have been living illegally in the US will be allowed to legally apply for work permits in the country and to live legally as citizens.
The new laws apply to any immigrants who have been living in the US for the past five years and have children who are living legally in the country.
It is estimated that there are 11 million illegal immigrants in the US and under the new plans laid out by Barack Obama, undocumented parents of children who are US citizens or legal residents will be able to apply for work permits lasting three years.
It is thought that the new scheme will apply to some 3.7 million people.
In another part of the immigration reform there will be the extension of a programme that gives temporary legal status to people who arrived in the US when they were children.
At the moment only those under the age of 30 who arrived before 2007 can apply for the programme, which was launched in 2012 and already covers roughly 1.2 million people.
While many have hailed the changes to the immigration laws as being a positive move for the government, members of the Republican party have been fighting the reform all the way and trying to prevent it from continuing through.
The constant back and forth of the political situation in the US has led President Barack Obama to push on alone as he says he has grown so weary of trying to get Congress to engage seriously that he is going it alone.
The president will be bypassing the legislature and using his power as the executive order but in doing so he risks the fury of the rest of government who are likely to be after revenge for cutting them out of the process.
According to the BBC Mr Obama said in a televised address that his measures would allow illegal immigrants to “come out of the shadows and get right with the law”.
“What I’m describing is accountability – a common-sense, middle ground approach,” he said.
An Obama aide rebuffed the criticism that Mr Obama had overstepped his authority, saying the president had taken advice from the secretary of homeland security and the attorney general about the action.
“It’s entirely consistent with the way previous presidents have exercised their executive authority,” the aide said.