Family flees Germany over homeschooling; now faces deportation from US


Central Europe


Image not related to the story. Photo AFP, Oli Scarff

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their five children face deportation to Germany. More than 15 years ago, they fled their homeland because they received heavy fines for homeschooling their children.

Last month, the Romeikes were told by the American Immigration and Customs Enforcement that their visas would not be extended. They had four weeks to leave the country, the officers informed them, as reported by the Christian Post. Currently, the family resides in Tennessee.

The family arrived in 2008 after they received fines of thousands of euros for homeschooling their children in Germany. They left their home country and requested asylum in the United States.

The Romeikes insist on homeschooling their children for religious reasons. The Home School Legal Defence Association (HSLDA), which supports the family, says to the Christian Post that more and more parents are worried about anti-Christian and sexual elements in the German curricula. However, in Germany, homeschooling is banned in almost all circumstances. Parents have the duty to send their children to school. Whoever does not abide by that rule is threatened with fines and imprisonment and may even lose custody of their children. In the United States, parents have a right to homeschool their children by law.

At first, the Romeikes were granted asylum by the Department of Homeland Security. However, soon after, other officials overturned the decision. The Romeike family appealed against this reversal. But the US Court of Appeals rejected their appeal, World reports.

According to the judge, the family is not targeted by a law in Germany that says that no Christians are allowed there. Instead, they "violate a generally applicable law" in their native country.

After that, the US Department of Homeland Security granted them a status with which they could stay in the country. However, now, that status has been withdrawn as well.


According to Christian Vision, the decision came as a surprise for the family of whom two of the children are legal adults now and got married in the United States. HSLDA President Jim Mason denounces the verdict. "The Romeike family should be able to stay in the United States, and home educate their children", Mason said. He pointed out that America is a land of freedom and opportunity, "and there are few freedoms or opportunities more important than the ability of parents to safely direct the education of their own children without fear or punishment or persecution."

Uwe Romeikes himself said earlier during an interview with WBIR news that a return to Germany would be "disastrous." "Everything is in America", he said. "We don't have any place to live there. I don't have any work to provide for my family there."



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