Family who fled to US over right to homeschool children faces deportation after 15 years

Family who fled to US over right to homeschool children faces deportation after 15 years

(As originally published with more photos, Tue, September 26th 2023, 3:36 PM EDT; first article here)

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WZTV) — A nonprofit group is taking up the case of a family it says faces deportation from the U.S., 15 years after arriving for the right of parents to homeschool their children.

The Romeike family moved to Tennessee in 2008.

The organization Home School Legal Defense Association, which advocates for homeschooling, claims the Romeikes started homeschooling their five children in 2006, due to Christian religious convictions. That was in Germany.

The group said the family faced fines and was forced to send their children back to school or have them removed from their home.

Family who fled to US over right to homeschool children faces deportation after 15 years
The Romeike family moved from Germany to the U.S. in 2008 to keep homeschooling their children. (Photo: Home School Legal Defense Assn.)

Then, in 2013, the Romeikes were granted “indefinite deferred action status” which let them remain in the country without the fear of being deported.

That continued until earlier this month, when the group said the family was told the deferred status had been revoked, and they needed to get passports to prepare to return to Germany, where homeschooling is mostly illegal.

There have been births and marriages for the Romeikes over the past decade, and the HSLDA, which is representing the family, started a petition, asking the feds to grant them the protections they’ve had since relocating.

They have built their life here, including having two children who are U.S. citizens, two children who have married U.S. citizens, participating in their church and working in the local community. The government has the power to allow them to stay and we ask them to do just that,” HSLDA lawyer Kevin Boden said.

Click here to read the petition.

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