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The great news has already reached me in Australia. About 24 hours ago, a day after the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear the case involving the Romeike homeschooling family from Germany, it was expected that the Romeike parents and children would be deported back to Germany—where they would face punishment for not enrolling their children in government schools. In a surprise development Tuesday, our friends the Romeikes will now be allowed to remain in the U.S. indefinitely by order of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The news was shared by the DHS in a phone call yesterday with the Home School Legal Defense Association, which had been defending the family in court.
HSLDA attorney Mike Donnelly told AiG last night that a DHS official called an HSLDA immigration counsel (who works at Mike’s direction) on Tuesday to say that the Romeike family has been granted “indefinite deferred status.” This designation means the Romeikes can stay in the U.S. permanently! Mike’s exciting report to us last night is as follows, which includes some background to the Supreme Court’s handling (or non-handling) of the dispute:
The Supreme Court issued a denial of the Romeike families’ petition for certiorari, sparking an immediate and unprecedented reaction. Although many, including me, were not surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision, it seemed that this was the last hope for the family to avoid being sent back to Germany where they would undoubtedly be persecuted for homeschooling their children. Today we are delighted to report that the Department of Homeland Security has granted the Romeike family deferred action status indefinitely, which means they will not be sent back to Germany. Our immigration system isn’t perfect, but in this situation those involved have acknowledged that it would not be right to send this family back to Germany.In 2010 the Romeikes had been granted asylum in the U.S. by a federal judge. But the Obama administration did not accept the judge’s decision and went to a higher court. That court ruled that the family must be sent back to Germany. This decision was allowed to stand on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court let the ruling stand. The Romeikes fled Germany in 2008 because they faced the prospect of jail time and maybe the loss of their children because they homeschooled their children.
How could our country send this loving, peaceful family back to be crushed by outrageous fines, criminal prosecution, and the loss of their children? Today Germany is holding another family prisoner only because they wanted to leave to go to France to homeschool their children. How could we send the Romeikes back to be treated like that? I’m glad someone in our government recognized this fact and made the right decision.
HSLDA is determined to continue working in support of beleaguered homeschooling families in Germany and other countries. The right of parents to decide how their children should be educated is a fundamental human right. The United States got it right in this case and we call on Germany to change its policy so that parents in Germany can homeschool their children in peace.
I have met with this delightful Christian family on a couple occasions: last year at our Mega Conference in Tennessee and also during their visit to our Creation Museum about a year ago (see me in the photo with them below). Here is my blog post about their museum visit.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,