April 8, 2013
On April 23, 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the case of Romeike v. Holder, where the family will attempt to have the deportation order made against them set aside. While the Romeikes had originally been granted asylum in the United States, on the grounds Germany prevented them from homeschooling their children, that decision was overturned by a panel of the Board of Immigration Appeals.
German parents have not been able to legally homeschool their children since the practice was banned by the Nazis in 1938.
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are evangelical Christians. In 2006, they took their five children out of state-run schools and homeschooled them. The couple claimed their kids were being taught things that went against the family’s religious beliefs. German law allows for fines and imprisonment to be imposed on parents who do not send their children to state-run school. Eventually, the Romeikes racked up fines of approximately $9,000. The state also threatened to take the children away from the Romeikes if they did not send them back to school.
In 2008, the family fled Germany and arrived in the United States where they made claims for asylum.