Case Summary

When Uwe and Hannelore Romeike decided in 2006 that God was calling them to homeschool their five children, Germany responded swiftly by leveling fines that would eventually exceed the family’s income, forcibly removing the children from the home to take them to school, and threatening to remove the children from the home permanently.

So the Romeikes fled to America, where HSLDA helped them apply for asylum.

In January 2010, the Romeikes were granted asylum by Judge Lawrence O. Burman.

Two years later, in May 2012, their asylum was overturned by the US Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). After another two years of legal battles to reinstate their asylum, the US government finally granted the Romeikes “indefinite deferred action status” in March 2014.

This meant that the Romeikes could live legally in the US, obtain drivers’ licenses, work, rent, own property, and pay taxes. They have been operating legally under this status for 10 years.

However, in September 2023, they were verbally notified that they had four weeks to secure passports and begin self-deportation. The family had no prior warning, and was offered no explanation, other than that there had been a “change of orders.”  

Case Timeline

August 2008 —  Romeikes arrive in the US from Germany

January 26, 2010 —  Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman grants asylum

May 4, 2012 — U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) overturns Burman’s decision

October 29, 2012 — HSLDA appeals the BIA’s decision to the Sixth Circuit Court

April 23, 2013 — Oral arguments heard at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals; three-judge panel denies asylum

May 29, 2013 — HSLDA files a request for rehearing by the entire Sixth Circuit

July 15, 2013 — Six Circuit denies rehearing, HSLDA goes to the Supreme Court

February 12, 2014 —  US. Supreme Court set to review Romeike case

March 3, 2014 — U.S. Supreme Court denies rehearing

March 4, 2014 — DHS lets Romeikes stay under order of supervision and indefinite deferred action status

September 6, 2023 — Romeikes told that they had four weeks to secure passports to return to Germany

October 11, 2023  Deportation delayed for one year 

More Questions?

  • Why haven't they applied for citizenship since 2014?
  • Why is HSLDA involved with this case?
  • How does homeschooling qualify a family for asylum?

View the Romeike FAQ »

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