Posted on | March 5, 2014 | No Comments
Family no longer faces deportation, despite Supreme Court punting on whether home schooling is a religious freedom.
In a dramatic 24-hour turnaround, the German family that could have faced deportation after the Supreme Court didn't take their case has been granted "indefinite deferred status" by the Department of Homeland Security.
"We're not entirely sure what it all means, but it's definitely good," Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) attorney Jim Mason told CT. "It permits them to stay in the country and work here."
But it doesn’t answer the fundamental question raised by the Romeike family's unusual asylum case that has pushed persecution boundaries: Is homeschooling a human right?
While the family's immigration judge said the German government was frustrating the family’s faith by its refusal to let them home school, he was the only judge to rule that way. And the Supreme Court’s refusal to take the case seems a clear enough answer.
But even though the Supreme Court thought that the family wasn't entitled to asylum under current law, the Department of Homeland Security apparently doesn't want to send them back to Germany, said Mason.
The HSLDA is working on legislation to make it possible for others to come to the United States if they're facing similar circumstances, said Mason. "The denial of certiorari from the Supreme Court makes it more difficult for other families to come in the same ways the Romeikes did," he said. "But the deferred status makes it possible for the Romeike's to stay without worries in the future."
The Romeikes will be able to stay in the United States permanently unless they are convicted of a crime. HSLDA chair Michael Farris announced the news in a Facebook post that garnered more than 7,000 "likes" in the first hour. HSLDA represents the family.
The Romeikes received asylum in 2010 after being severely penalized for illegally homeschooling their children in Germany. (The family was threatened on multiple occasions, fined about $10,000, …