Romeike family faces deportation after 15 years in the U.S. after losing their asylum claim based on religious persecution in Germany. If only they had illegally entered through the southern border and disregarded the asylum system completely, they would have fared better.
Tens of thousands of people — including substantial numbers of single military age males — illegally cross the southern border into the United States every week under the pretense of seeking aslyum. But almost none of them would qualify under the exacting standards for asylum, it’s all a sham in which they know that they will be released into the U.S. with an appearance date years in the future. Under the current administration, almost none of them will be deported, and almost all will stay here in one capacity or another indefinitely. Few will actually be granted asylum.
This has all the appearances of an organized invasion, with people funneled to the U.S. by cartels and others, included among them provocateurs who plant foreign flags on U.S. soil:
Planting the flag of the country you are supposedly fleeing from is a head scratcher.
Spend enough time down there and you learn quickly that the narrative of “asylum seekers” is way off.
Overwhelming majority want work or to link w/ family in US & do not qualify for asylum. https://t.co/PTk54wmkcz
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) September 25, 2023
The Biden administration doesn’t care. It wants this.
Yet at the same time, the administration is moving to deport a family that had a viable claim for asylum and went through the process, winning at the hearing level then being denied on appeal.
We covered the Romeike family starting in 2013, when the Obama administration fought their asylum claim and sought to have them deported, DOJ seeks deportation of family persecuted in Germany for homeschooling:
The Romeikes are devout Christians from Germany who wanted to homeschool their children because of what they perceived as the secularist agenda in German public schools.
In the United States, the right to homeschool ones’ own children is accepted, although frequently mocked by the left. The homeschoool movement is thriving in the United States, but in Germany it is illegal, a holdover from Nazi-era law.
The Romeikes fled to the United States in 2008 after they faced mounting fines and the potential of imprisonment. The Romeikes sought asylum, and were granted that asylum by Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman in a January 26, 2010 decision after a hearing which included not only the Romeikes but also expert witnesses on homeschooling in Germany.
You need to read that linked opinion by Judge Burman to understand the extent of German government persecution of the Romeikes and other homeschool families.
We continued to follow the case for years:
- More on the Romeike homeschooling deportation case (March 4, 2013)
- German homeschooling family closer to deportation (August 9, 2013)
- Update on Romeike homeschooling case (December 2, 2013)
- Update on Romeike Homeschooling Asylum Case (January 23, 2014)
- US Sup Ct refuses to hear Romeike homeschooling case (March 3, 2014)
Our last post about the family was German homeschool family can stay in U.S. (March 4, 2014):
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
That was the last time we checked in on the Romeike family, until I saw this tweet from Mollie Hemingway:
The DOJ finally found asylum-seekers it opposes! It's a German family that has lived here for 15 years after being punished for homeschooling. https://t.co/tHXmtmaQ1t
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) September 25, 2023
From the news report in the tweet:
For 15 years, the Romeike family has lived in Morristown. Uwe Romeike, the father of the seven Romeike children, works as a piano accompanist at Carson-Newman University. Now, they say, the U.S. government is trying to deport them….
An immigration judge initially granted the family’s application for asylum. The U.S. Department of Justice appealed the decision, and the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals revoked the family’s asylum status, documents show.
The family, with the help of the U.S. Home School Defense Association, appealed to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel unanimously ruled against the family.
“They have not shown that Germany’s enforcement of its general school-attendance law amounts to persecution against them,” Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote for the court.
Judge Sutton said in his ruling the Romeikes didn’t prove the German Government persecuted them for their religion, because they applied the homeschooling law regardless of religion.
Since the sixth circuit ruling in 2013, the Romeikes have lived in the U.S., checking in periodically with immigration agents.
“They’re here with the approval of the U.S. government, but without permanent residency or citizenship status,” said Kevin Boden, an attorney with the U.S. Home School Defense Association.
Romeike said two weeks ago, an immigration agent asked his family to return in four weeks, with German passports, and to prepare to self-deport.
“Our oldest children were in school in the German public schools, and their personality literally changed,” Romeike said. “We wanted to help them to grow up in what they believed in, and what we believe in and not get basically indoctrinated with something we don’t want.”
HSLDA has this update: and plea for help:
… in September 2023, the Romeikes were told during a routine check-in that their deferred status had been revoked. The family was given four weeks to apply for German passports, so they could be deported to Germany. The family had no prior warning, and was offered no explanation, other than that there had been a “change of orders.”
In the 10 years that the Romeikes have lived peacefully in the United States, they’ve built a second life: they have two children who are American citizens, and two other children who married American citizens (one of these couples recently welcomed their first child).
Deportation to Germany will fracture these families, while exposing the Romeikes to renewed persecution in Germany, where homeschooling is still illegal in almost every case.
But there is still hope.
The United States executive branch intervened once before to grant the Romeikes a respite, and it has the power to do it again.
What You Can Do
Join us in asking the Biden administration to set this right.
Yes, the Romeike family ultimately lost their court fight, but as we know, the people who illegally enter the country and who disregard the actual asylum system get treated much better.
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