German homeschooling family given 1-year stay on deportation

The Romeike family.
The Romeike family. | Courtesy of the Romeike family

A German homeschooling Christian family facing deportation after living in the United States for 15 years has been given a one-year stay of removal, according to the legal group representing them. 

The Home School Legal Defense Association announced that the Romeike family would receive a one-year stay on their deportation order on Wednesday. 

"I spoke personally with the ICE officer in Knoxville, who told me we can anticipate them signing the order of supervision out for another year," attorney Kevin Boden said in a statement. "And while we are very grateful for this news, we are continuing to advocate for a long-term solution for the Romeike family to allow their permanent stay in the United States."

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

The Romeike family, which has lived in Tennessee since 2008, was recently told that they would be deported back to Germany, where they fled due to the European nation's homeschooling ban.

The stay came fairly last minute, as the Romeike family reportedly was slated to be deported this week, according to an alert email from the Tennessee Independent Baptists for Religious Liberty.

The Baptist group noted that Rep. Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee was sponsoring legislation aimed at granting the Romeikes "permanent residency status" to remain in the United States.

In September, several Tennessee lawmakers signed a joint letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement saying that deporting the family would be "cruel and unnecessary." 

In 2008, the Romeikes immigrated to the United States from Germany after experiencing harassment from the government over their decision to homeschool their children as homeschooling is banned in Germany under most circumstances.

The Romeike family has dealt with years of legal battles in the U.S., as federal immigration officials argued that they did not meet the parameters to receive asylum.

In May 2013, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled against the Romeikes, arguing that the German government was not persecuting them.

"Congress might have written the immigration laws to grant a safe haven to people living elsewhere in the world who face government strictures that the United States Constitution prohibits. But it did not," read the panel opinion.

"There is a difference between the persecution of a discrete group and the prosecution of those who violate a generally applicable law. As the Board of Immigration Appeals permissibly found, the German authorities have not singled out the Romeikes in particular or homeschoolers in general for persecution."

In 2014, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted the Romeike family a special status that allowed them to stay in the country.

Last month, during a routine checkup with the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, the family was told that they had four weeks before they were going to be deported.

Uwe Romeike, the father of the German family, said in an interview with the Knoxville-based WBIR News that being forced to move back to Germany would be disastrous.

“[My family members] work here. Everything is here in America," said Romeike. "We don't have any place to live there. I don't have any work to provide for my family over there."   

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.