On Tuesday, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) announced a drastic turnaround on the part of the federal government: The German Romeike family, which sought asylum in the United States to home-school their children, will now be allowed to stay in America.
"The Romeikes can stay!!!" the HSLDA announced on its Facebook page.
Just one day ago, the Romeikes thought they would be forced to return to Germany, where the state could take custody of their children because of their decision to home-school. At a minimum, they would face increasingly harsh fines for violating Germany’s compulsory attendance law.
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike have been fighting to remain in the United States since 2008, when they fled to Tennessee, but the Supreme Court declined to hear their appeal for asylum on Monday.
A post on the HSLDA's Facebook wall signed by the organization's chairman, Michael Farris, explains the change:
Today, a Supervisor with the Department of Homeland Security called a member of our legal team to inform us that the Romeike family has been granted "indefinite deferred status". This means that the Romeikes can stay in the United States permanently (unless they are convicted of a crime, etc.)
This is an incredible victory that can only be credited to our Almighty God.
We also want to thank those of who spoke up on this issue--including that long ago White House petition. We believe that the public outcry made this possible while God delivered the victory.
This is an amazing turnaround in 24 hours. Praise the Lord.
Proverbs 21: 1 "The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord, He guides it wherever He pleases." [Emphasis added]
Uwe Romeike commented in a statement on the HSLDA website: “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."
The family has claimed Germany’s laws violate international human rights standards, but the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded last year that U.S. law does not grant asylum to “every victim of unfair treatment.”
When the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, the HSLDA said the "last judicial hope for the family" had been exhausted. The 24-hour turnaround by the U.S. legal system was highly unexpected.
Farris appeared on the Glenn Beck Program Tuesday to discuss what he described as a "baffling set of events."
He and Beck were particularly intrigued that after years of legal proceedings, it was the Department of Homeland Security that seems to have made the final call.
"I view it as a miracle from God," Farris said simply, adding thanks for the countless Americans who made their voices heard. "I don't believe that anything else could explain it, other than God has intervened."
This post has been updated.