Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their children left their native Germany in 2008, fleeing persecution by the government because they wanted to homeschool their children. Lynda Altman reports in the Examiner
The family applied for asylum based on religious persecution. Asylum was granted. However, the Obama administration overturned that decision and the Romeike family faced deportation.
HSLDA stepped in and fought the deportation. They lost the battle at every turn. Even when Glenn Beck stepped in with a sizable donation, the family still could not catch a break in court. Then, a petition was filed with thousands of signatures requesting that the U.S. Government answer a final request. On that, the family won.
The U.S. Supreme Court was supposed to hear the case on Monday, March 3, 2014. Instead of hearing the case, the court decided against it. That left the Romeike family with no more options. They were out of time and legal recourse. It looked like deportation was inevitable.
After public outcry, the Department of Homeland Security gave the Romeike family permission to remain in the United States. This happened on Tuesday, March 4, 2014.
Blogger Ben Swann has these further details (as well as some details about what happened to them in Germany):
The Romeike’s received help from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). The HSLDA requested a rehearing with the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The request was denied. The case caught the attention of the homeschooling community, as well as a number of Christian groups. An online petition asking President Obama to grant the family asylum was signed by more than 127,000 people. Eventually the Romeike’s and the HSLDA decided to request a hearing with the Supreme Court.
Michael Farris, founder of the HSLDA, commented, “The Attorney General and Sixth Circuit are ignoring critical evidence and are trying to send back this family who is trying to stay in our country legally. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will go the other way and see what the original immigration judge saw: that this family and other religious homeschoolers in Germany are being persecuted for what they believe is the right way to raise their children.”
Both writers give the petition and public outcry credit for the outcome. I wonder; I’ve never heard of a petition to the federal government having any effect. It’s great if that’s true. I do remember that more than 20 years ago Rep. George Miller of California introduced a bill in Congress that homeschoolers interpreted as threatening to their right to educate their children. (I should say “we homeschoolers” as I was one at the time.) They jammed the Capitol switchboard — it was reported to be the most calls ever — and the bill was withdrawn. Today there are many more homeschoolers.
I posted on the case here in 2010 and Ann posted here in 2013 when the Romeikes were denied asylum. Note that they were initially granted asylum and then that was overturned at the federal level. We can imagine how much the Obama administration would love a Christian family educating its children outside the state’s control. (Not!) I’d love to know the inside story of the judicial and government actions in this case.
As Ann commented in her post when the Romeikes lost their asylum case: We will take Chechens, Somalis and Rohingya Muslims, but not persecuted Christians from Germany who pose no threat to America. Go figure!
Addendum: Here a great piece by Michael Farris, Dangerous Policy Lurks behind Romeike Triumph. I don’t have time to write about it, but if you are interested in homeschooling, parental rights, religious freedom, or oppressive government, there’s a lot here for you.