More on the Romeike Case and Aftermath

The Romeike family from Germany lost the Supreme Court hearing, but gained “indefinite deferred status” bestowed by the Department of Homeland Security (ICE).  There are some concerning HSLDA statements about future legislation showing this issue will not go away anytime soon. Homeschoolers in private school states like Illinois and Texas should watch out.

Here’s more news on the Romeike situation.

From the Associated Press in Minnesota’s Pioneer Press:
German home-school family won’t be deported By Travis Loller

Donnelly said on Tuesday that Romeike was declining interview requests, but he did issue a statement. It said the family—which includes Romeike, his wife and their seven children ages 1-17—is “happy” to have indefinite status, even if that means they won’t get American citizenship any time soon.

“As long as we can live at peace here we are happy,” Romeike states. “We have always been ready to go wherever the Lord would lead us.”

Donnelly said the deferred status is revocable, but he doesn’t expect it to be revoked as long as the family stays out of trouble.

I hope the Romeikes are allowed to stay here on a permanent basis.  But deferred status sounds a bit like being exempt from laws. That always works until your particular status isn’t exempt.  Is it possible status could change after the next election?

HSLDA planned on pursuing legislation to change the law for the Romeike family with “friendly” homeschool legislators.   Even after Romeikes got deferred status, this Virginia-based group still chases new laws. From the AP article:

The Home School Legal Defense Association still is pursuing legislation that would recognize people who come to the U.S. to home-school their children with some sort of refugee or asylum status, Donnelly said. He said there are a handful of other German home-school families seeking asylum in the U.S.

“We don’t know how the government will handle their cases,” he said. “They are still in the early stages.”

 I thought we did know how the government will handle their cases.  This Department of Justice will fight it all the way to SCOTUS.

It’s been obvious the homeschooling community is paying great attention to this political asylum issue. Homeschoolers are divided on the immigration pursuit via political asylum claims, even as many are glad the family has a home here.

From a Daily Mail article combined with the AP article:

The case has garnered a lot of media attention. According to HSLDA, the Fox News website recorded more than one million views in 24 hours for the story about the Supreme Court’s decision to not hear the case, which is the most page views the site has ever received for a single story in a 24-hour period.

‘This is an incredible victory that I can only credit to Almighty God. I also want to thank those who spoke up on this issue — including that long ago White House petition. We believe that the public outcry made a huge impact. What an amazing turnaround — in just 24 hours,’ Michael Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association told the Christian Post.

Romeike later said that the fight to stay in the U.S. was never about him.

‘This has always been about our children. I wouldn’t have minded staying in Germany if the mistreatment targeted only me — but our whole family was targeted when German authorities would not tolerate our decision to teach our children — that is what brought us here,’ Romeike said.

It appears HSLDA was the force bringing Romeikes to the United States, as shared here via the NY Times.  The continuing federal legislation pursuit is unfortunate. Most homeschoolers don’t want homeschooling mixed in with legislation and laws.  In states like Illinois, once “home school” is inserted into laws, we lose a piece of our protection under the larger umbrella of private school status.  Illinois doesn’t have a homeschooling law.  Homeschoolers were defined as a private school by a 1950 Illinois Supreme Court decision (People vs Marjorie Levisen). Texas has the same situation, where their private school status was determined by a court.  We’ve fought hard over the years, against HSLDA interference, to keep state and federal “home school” language out of laws and statutes.

More here on the history and opinions from various legal entities: German Family’s Federal Court Appeal Hearing in April

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