Yesterday we reported that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal from the Romeike family, which was seeking asylum in the U.S. due to Germany’s ban on homeschooling. The parents risked fines, imprisonment and loss of custody of their children if they returned and failed to send the children to public school.

After years of fighting the asylum request and seeking deportation, today DHS announced that it was granting an indefinite deferment of deportation.

HSLDA, which represented the Romeikes, posted the following announcement:

The Department of Homeland Security verbally informed Home School Legal Defense Association that the Romeike family is being granted indefinite deferred action status. The Department told HSLDA that this meant the order of removal would not be acted on and that the Romeikes could stay

Why the DHS change in position? Two possible theories.

First, the case generated enormous publicity, particularly yesterday. HSLDA noted in its announcement:

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a denial of the Romeike family’s petition for certiorari, sparking an immediate and unprecedented reaction. Fox News told HSLDA that they recorded 1 million page views of the Romeikes’ story in 24 hours—an all-time high. Although many 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.

Second, it’s likely part of a larger immigration “reform” strategy. How could DHS justify indefinite deferments under Obama’s DREAM programs for people who came here illegally and faced no persecution at home, while sending the Romeikes back to Germany.

The Romeikes will be used as an example of compassionate immigration enforcement, which means non-enforcement.

So this result certainly is a victory for the Romeikes, and I’m happy for them.

But no principle of asylum was established that will help other suffering religious persecution. There was no legal victory, instead, DHS picking and choosing winners.

When it comes to immigration enforcement, however, it ultimately may be a loss as it furthers the unilateral discretionary non-enforcement of immigration laws.