Christian homeschool family who fled persecution facing deportation

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By Talia Wise —

A Christian home-school family that was granted asylum in the United States 15 years ago

The Romeike family (Photo Courtesy: HSLDA)

after facing persecution in Germany, will be deported to their home country on orders from the Biden administration.

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike fled Germany in 2008 after facing criminal prosecution for homeschooling their five children. Now, after 15 years, the family of nine must uproot their lives, move back to Germany, and face possible prosecution.

“They did not tell us anything. We don’t really know why [this is happening]. We wonder ourselves because we can’t understand,” Uwe Romeike told “Fox & Friends Weekend”.

The couple told National Review that in the early 2000s, they initially sent their young children to Germany’s public schools. But when they reviewed one of their kid’s literature books, they were shocked with what they discovered.

“It promoted praying to the devil rather than God, disobeying your parents, and teachers as authorities,” Uwe said. “There were stories about witchcraft. The only thing I found about Christian belief was about bunnies and eggs for Easter.”

“I remember a story in one of those readers where the verdict was, ‘God won’t hear you. If you ask Satan, he will help you,'” he added.

Uwe explained that many books weren’t available for parents to view.

“You don’t get to see all the books they use because they started, maybe 20 years ago, leaving the books at school, supposedly so they don’t have to carry heavy bags,” Uwe said. “We think it’s more so the parents don’t see what’s in them.”

Uwe and Hannelore began homeschooling in Germany because they didn’t want their children exposed to things like witchcraft and graphic sex education that are taught in German schools.

“(Homeschooling) is illegal in Germany,” Uwe explained.

He said he and his wife decided to be a part of the “underground” homeschooling community to have the freedom to teach their children Christian values.

“It seems like when we started in 2006 it was getting tougher and harder,” Uwe said. “They had to pay higher fines. Some were jailed.”

A few weeks after the couple began to homeschool their children, police showed up at their home and took their kids to public school. The police eventually took custody of the children every morning to take them to public school and would bring them home each afternoon.

“That was, for us, the threshold to leave,” Uwe said.

The Romeikes fled Germany to the U.S. after being fined for homeschooling their children.

As CBN News reported, in 2010 the family was granted political asylum by Immigration Judge Lawrence Burman, but in 2011 his decision was overturned by the Board of Immigration Appeals, which is run by the U.S. Department of Justice.

In 2012, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit issued a unanimous decision against the family refusing to agree that what German homeschoolers face amounts to persecution deserving of asylum.

The family was granted, however, indefinite deferred action status.

“All it means is, ‘We can take action, we’re just deferring doing so, and at any point we could stop deferring it and take the action that they have the ability to take,'” said Kevin Boden, an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) who is representing the Romeikes.

“It appears that deferred action has been revoked,” he told National Review. “So now we’re in the process of moving out of the country. They weren’t given a specific timeline. It was, ‘Get your passports and come back in four weeks.'”

The couple says the Biden administration can intervene and it would allow them to stay.

“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,” reads a statement by HSLDA.

“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,” HSLDA contends. — CBN

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