In a completely unexpected turnaround, the homeschooling Romeike family, who fled to the United States seeking asylum from the German government's persecution of home educators, was granted "indefinite deferral status" on March 4 by the Homeland Security Agency. This action comes on the heels of the Supreme Court's March 3 refusal to hear their appeal for asylum. According to Michael Farris, Home School Legal Defense Association chairman, a member of the Association's legal staff was contacted on March 4 by an official of the HSA and told that the Romeike family can stay in the United States indefinitely, as long as they are convicted of no crime or other illegal activity.
After the March 3 decision by the Supreme Court, Mr. Farris expressed disappointment, but stated that the Court only accepts 80 - 100 of the approximately 10,000 such requests it receives annually. He further stated that he and other supportive legislators had been working to introduce legislation to help the Romeike family and any other families fleeing to America to escape persecution. Today's decision has left the family's many supporters feeling very grateful.
The Romeike family moved to the United States in 2008 in order to continue homeschooling their children. In their native Germany, attendance at state-sponsored schools is mandatory and home educators are subject to heavy fines, and possible imprisonment and loss of custody of their children.After the Obama administration revoked their initial asylum status, HSLDA initiated a petition requesting that the Administration grant the family full legal status, "just as our forefathers sought." The lack of response from the federal government prompted the Supreme Court to demand one. The family lost their appeal in 2013, which resulted in their turning to the Supreme Court for reconsideration.