By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator
While the U.S. Supreme Court declined yesterday to review the Romeike family’s asylum case, the family was today granted “indefinite deferred status,” allowing them to stay permanently in the U.S.
With the encouragement of Michael Farris and HSLDA, Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their six children moved from Germany to the state of Tennessee in the U.S. six years ago. The family filed an asylum claim and argued they faced persecution because their conviction to homeschool conflicted with Germany’s educational policies.
On January 26, 2010, a U.S. immigration judge granted the Romeike family asylum on account of “persecution for homeschooling.” The granting of asylum (later overturned) was a significant legal precedent at the time. As HSLDA attorney Mike Donnelly pointed out, this was “the first case ever to recognize homeschooling as a reason for granting asylum.” This was exactly the intended result of the Romeike case, as HSLDA was using the family as part of a global strategy, the end result being “to be able to say that homeschooling is a human right.” Donnelly himself said, “The Romeikes’ asylum victory is the culmination of years of groundwork to protect homeschooling.”
The decision to grant the Romeike family asylum was overturned two years later on May 24, 2012. The Board of Immigration Appeals determined in Romeike v. Holder that Germany’s general restrictions against homeschooling (homeschooling is illegal except in a few cases) do not target a specific social group, thus they cannot be construed as “persecution” justifying asylum.
HSLDA and the Romeike family appealed this decision to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. On May 14, 2013, the 6th Circuit denied the appeal. The judge’s decision was that, “The U.S. grants safe haven to people who have a well-founded fear of persecution, but not necessarily to those under governments with laws that simply differ from those in the U.S.” This decision was then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
On March 3, 2014, the Supreme Court declined to review the Romeike family’s case. The justices did so without comment. HSLDA’s response to this decision on Facebook involved a swipe at undocumented workers, saying, “If 12 million people can live here illegally, then surely there is a way to find a place for this one family.” News outlets published stories on the decision with a litany of curious headlines, such as WorldNetDaily’s “Supreme Court sends homeschoolers packing” and Fox News’ “Team Obama wins fight to have Christian home-school family deported.”
Today, however, HSLDA announced on their Facebook page that a supervisor from the Department of Homeland Security informed them that “the Romeike family has been granted ‘indefinite deferred status.'” HSLDA says this means “the Romeikes can stay in the United States permanently (unless they are convicted of a crime, etc.).” It remains unknown at the moment what individual or individuals chose to grant the Romeikes this status.
“Indefinite deferred status” is also expressed as “amnesty.” The current administration has granted amnesty to the Romeike family.
Below is a copy of HSLDA’s Facebook status, which you can view online here:
BREAKING NEWS!!! The Romeikes can stay!!!
Today, a Supervisor with the Department of Homeland Security called a member of our legal team to inform us that the Romeike family has been granted “indefinite deferred status”. This means that the Romeikes can stay in the United States permanently (unless they are convicted of a crime, etc.)
This is an incredible victory that can only be credited to our Almighty God.
We also want to thank those of who spoke up on this issue–including that long ago White House petition. We believe that the public outcry made this possible while God delivered the victory.
This is an amazing turnaround in 24 hours. Praise the Lord.
Proverbs 21: 1 “The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord, He guides it wherever He pleases.”