The case was brought by 26 states suing to block the immigration executive action Obama signed in 2014. The 2014 order has been repeatedly blocked by lower courts and has never gone into effect.
A coalition of states led by Texas argued that Obama overstepped his powers when he bypassed Congress.
“Today’s decision keeps in place what we have maintained from the very start: one person, even a president, cannot unilaterally change the law. This is a major setback to President Obama’s attempts to expand executive power, and a victory for those who believe in the separation of powers and the rule of law,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said of the decision.
The ruling comes amid a tense election season, in which the presumed Republican nominee Donald Trump has vowed to deport all illegal immigrants and build a wall stretching across the southern border of the nation.
Republicans celebrated the ruling, with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) calling the split a victory.
"This is a win for the Constitution, this is a win for Congress," Ryan told the press. "Presidents don't write laws, Congress writes laws.”
Obama called the tie “heartbreaking” for the millions of people that the decision will affect.
"We're going to have to make a decision about whether we are a people who tolerate the hypocrisy of a system where the workers who pick our fruit or make our beds never have the chance to get right with the law — or whether we're going to give them a chance, just like our forebears had a chance, to take responsibility and give their kids a better future," Obama said on Thursday.