A German family that came to the United States in 2008 to homeschool their children has received a one-year stay after thirty-two congressmen and thousands of Americans petitioned the Biden administration.
“We just received news from ICE that the Romeikes are going to be given a one-year stay of deportation on Wednesday,” Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) posted on Instagram. “This is excellent news! According to our friends on Capitol Hill, this outcome is the direct result of your calls, your petition signature, and your outreach to Congress on this issue.”
The one-year stay isn’t guaranteed until it’s signed on Wednesday, but HSLDA expects a positive outcome. HSLDA’s attorney, Kevin Boden, plans to accompany the Romeike family when they meet with immigration officials this week.
“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,” Boden said according to the social media post. “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.”
The Romeikes were informed they were going to be deported back to Germany in September, after living peacefully in Tennessee for 15 years.
The Romeikes fled Germany in 2008 after they were fined for homeschooling their children and were forced to enroll their children into public school. In Germany, homeschooling is illegal for all children ages 6 to 15.
In January 2010, the family was granted asylum on the grounds that the “family had a well-founded fear of persecution” by the German government for homeschooling, according to The Tennessean.
In May of 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice under the Obama administration appealed the decision, but the family was able to stay under order of supervision and indefinite deferred action status.
Since then, the Romeikes have had two more children and celebrated the marriage of two of their oldest children to American citizens.
“I don’t identify myself much as a German anymore,” said the father, Uwe Romeike. “We wouldn’t know where to go. We would land on a German airport without a place to live, without work, no way of making a living.”