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Microsoft President Brad Smith discusses DACA and immigration at the 2017 GeekWire Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong)

A federal judge sided with Microsoft and Princeton University Tuesday in a lawsuit they filed over President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

U.S. District Court Judge John Bates ruled that the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to end DACA “was arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.”

The ruling requires the federal government to continue accepting renewals to the DACA program while lawsuits are pending. DHS has 90 days to make a stronger case for the decision to rescind DACA or the program will be fully restored.

It’s one of the most significant legal twists since the Trump administration’s September decision to rescind DACA, a program that allowed approximately 800,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to attend school and work in the country.

Microsoft has been an outspoken advocate for DACA recipients, known as Dreamers.  Microsoft and Princeton University sued the Trump administration in November in a U.S. District Court in Washington D.C., alleging that President Donald Trump’s attempt to end DACA violates both the U.S Constitution and federal law.

Bates ruled that the federal government didn’t provide valid justification for its decision to end DACA. He is the third judge to reach that conclusion, according to Politico.

Microsoft President Brad Smith issued the following statement in response to the decision:

“DREAMers grew up in this country, attended our schools, pay taxes and contribute to our communities. We hope this decision will help provide new incentive for the legislative solution the country and these individuals so clearly deserve. As the business community has come to appreciate, a lasting solution for the country’s DREAMers is both an economic imperative and a humanitarian necessity.”

Bates’ ruling is particularly significant because the Supreme Court declined Trump’s request to take up DACA in February, choosing to wait for the lawsuits to work through the traditional appeals process.

The ruling applies to two lawsuits. One was brought by Microsoft, Princeton, and a DACA recipient. The other came from the NAACP, the United Food and Commercial Workers union, and the American Federation of Teachers.

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