About 700,000 immigrants, including about 100 Mainers, caught a break last week when the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the Trump administration from taking away their legal status.

The vote was close – 5-4 – and the ruling was narrow: Written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the majority found that the administration did not state sufficient cause for eliminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Roberts did not say that the DACA enrollees – undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children – had a right to stay in the United States, and he did not say that the Trump administration can’t try again to make them eligible for deportation.

At best, the ruling is a temporary reprieve for the people affected, allowing them to continue going to work, pursuing higher education or serving in the U.S. military without having to go underground. It gives them a much-deserved chance to catch their breath without the threat of losing the only home many of them have ever known.

They can relax, but that’s not true for members of Congress. The predicament of the DACA recipients, sometimes known as “Dreamers,” is the result of the federal government’s decades-long failure to pass comprehensive legislation addressing the status of an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. This ruling gives Congress another chance to do the right thing and develop an immigration policy that is based on reality.

Last year, the House passed the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019, which would create a path to citizenship for 2 million undocumented immigrants, including the Dreamers. The bill has been sitting in the Senate awaiting action since then.

In 2018, a bill supported by Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King would have addressed the Dreamers’ situation in exchange for a commitment to spend more on border security. The Immigration Security and Opportunity Act got the support of a majority of senators but fell short of the 60-vote majority needed to clear a procedural hurdle. The Senate should take the opportunity provided by the court to pass a bill that, at a minimum, deals with the Dreamers.

The DACA program was created by President Barack Obama eight years ago, out of frustration with congressional inaction. To be eligible, immigrants need to have come to the country before the age of 15 and cannot have a criminal record. DACA does not provide recipients a path to citizenship, and recipients need to re-enroll every two years. But it does give them legal status and the right to work. A survey conducted last year found that nearly 90 percent of them have jobs and most of the rest are full-time students. Because they were brought here as children, when they were too young to be held responsible for their choices, and because they have a record as solid productive members of society, they have been the most sympathetic and least controversial group of undocumented immigrants

According to a recent Pew poll, 74 percent of Americans support giving permanent legal status to the Dreamers. At a time of extreme polarization, when every issue seems to come down to a coin toss, that is a level of support that should give senators the confidence that they won’t be hurt politically.

The Dreamers deserve more than a temporary reprieve. Congress should put a bill on the president’s desk that resolves their status, once and for all.

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