PURCELLVILLE, Va., March 4, 2014 /Christian Newswire
/ -- The Department of Homeland Security verbally informed Home School Legal Defense Association that the Romeike family is being granted indefinite deferred action status. The Department told HSLDA that this meant the order of removal would not be acted on and that the Romeikes could stay.
HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris was thrilled.
"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," he said.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a denial of the Romeike families' petition for certiorari, sparking an immediate and unprecedented reaction. FoxNews told HSLDA that they recorded 1 million page views of the Romeike's story in 24 hours -- an all-time high. Although many were not surprised by the Supreme Court's decision, it seemed that this was the last hope for the family to avoid being sent back to Germany where they would undoubtedly be persecuted for homeschooling their children.
Uwe Romeike said he is extremely grateful for the support and welcome he has received from America.
"We are happy to have indefinite status even though we won't be able to get American citizenship any time soon. As long as we can live at peace here, we are happy. We have always been ready to go wherever the Lord would lead us -- and I know my citizenship isn't really on earth. 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," he said.
"Our entire family is deeply grateful for all the support of our friends and fellow homeschoolers and especially HSLDA. I thank God for his hand of blessing and protection over our family. We thank the American government for allowing us to stay here and to peacefully homeschool our children -- it's all we ever wanted."
HSLDA Director of International Affairs Mike Donnelly pointed out that the only reason the Romeikes had to come to America was because of Germany's repressive policy towards homeschoolers.
"Germany's persecution of homeschooling parents continues and is one reason, I suspect, that DHS was willing to grant the family indefinite status," Donnelly said. "How could our country send this loving peaceful family back to be crushed by outrageous fines, criminal prosecution, and the loss of their children? Today Germany is holding another family prisoner only because they wanted to leave to go to France to homeschool their children. How could we send the Romeikes back to be treated like that?"
Donnelly continued, "HSLDA is determined to continue working in support of beleaguered homeschooling families in Germany and other countries. The right of parents to decide how their children should be educated is a fundamental human right. The United States got it right in this case and we call on Germany to change its policy so that parents in Germany can homeschool their children in peace."
Farris said there is no way he would have let the family go back to Germany.
"When we lost at the Sixth Circuit, I told Uwe that he would go back to Germany over my dead body. I'm glad that wasn't necessary! This is a courageous family and one that deserves to stay here. They are modern day Pilgrims."
Learn more at www.hslda.org/romeike
Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Visit us online at www.HSLDA.org