A third federal judge on Tuesday overruled the Trump Administration’s reasons to end an immigration program named Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). 

The decision was made by U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates who said the Department of Homeland Security’s explanation for ending DACA was “too flimsy and ultimately, unpersuasive”. 

In his 60-page opinion, Bates wrote, “DACA’s rescission was arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful. Neither the meager legal reasoning nor the assessment of litigation risk provided by DHS to support its rescission decision is sufficient to sustain termination of the DACA program.”

Born in October 1946 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Bates was appointed by former President George W. Bush for the District of Columbia. He is also the first Republican appointee to rule against President Donald Trump’s move to end the immigration program.

Bates first joined the court in 2001 after being nominated by Bush and assumed senior status on Oct. 12, 2014. 

He had previously served on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court from Feb. 22, 2006, till Feb. 21, 2013. He also served as the director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts until Jan. 4, 2015. He was appointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts on June 11, 2013. 

Bates served in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant from 1968-1971. 

John D. Bates U.S. Federal Judge John D. Bates rules against canceling DACA. In this photo, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Columbia, John Bates, listens during a panel discussion during a conference between The Center for Strategic and International Studies(CSIS) and the Justice Department at the CSIS building Sept. 14, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Getty Images / AFP

According to a report in CNN, Bates has currently delayed the execution of his ruling and gave the Trump administration 90 days to provide a more solid reason for ending DACA. 

Bates said that if the government does not come up with a better explanation within the given period of time, the Trump administration’s order to repeal DACA would be vacated and that the Department of Homeland Security will have to “accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications”. 

In response to Bates’ ruling, the Justice Department stood by their original reasoning and said DACA is an “unlawful circumvention of Congress”. 

"The Department of Homeland Security, therefore, acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner. Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens. The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend this position, and looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation,” spokesman Devin O'Malley said. 

It was in September 2017 that Trump first announced that he was planning to phase out DACA. He had said he would allow renewals till March 5, 2018, and then refused to issue new permits after. 

Reports state that this arrangement would have resulted in close to 700,000 people having their work permit and quasi-legal status expire over a period of two years. 

Bates’ ruling came after two district judges appointed by former President Bill Clinton in San Francisco and Brooklyn came to a similar conclusion regarding the matter.