In a surprising turn of events, a Christian family of nine who fled persecution in Germany and settled in the United States in 2008 has been told to prepare for deportation after 15 years of living in America. Uwe Romeike, his wife Hannelore, and their seven children were shocked when they were informed by immigration agents during their annual check-in that they must return to Germany in four weeks with their German passports.
This news, which came without any prior warning or explanation, has left the Romeike family in a state of uncertainty and fear. Uwe, a piano accompanist at Carson-Newman University, stated that they were caught off guard by this decision, but they remain hopeful and trust in God to make a way for them to stay in the country they have grown to love.
The family’s attorney, Kevin Boden, of the Home School Legal Defense Association, stated that it appears that there has been a change in orders within Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding the handling of the Romeikes. However, it remains unclear where this decision came from and if it is specific to the family or a broader change in policy.
The Romeikes’ story began in 2006 when they faced fines from the German government for homeschooling their children. Homeschooling is rarely permitted in Germany, and the Romeikes were only granted permission to homeschool their children for medical reasons. Facing fines, threats of losing custody of their children, and continuing persecution from the German government, Uwe and Hannelore made the difficult decision to move their family to the United States in search of a better life.
After the Obama administration fought against their request for asylum, the Romeike family took their case to court. In 2013, the courts ruled against their asylum claim, but the family was allowed to remain in the United States indefinitely and checked in annually with an immigration agent. However, in a sudden turn of events, they were now being told to prepare for deportation.
The family’s lawyer stated that they are here with the approval of the United States government but have not been granted permanent residency or citizenship status. This news puts the family in a difficult position as they face the possibility of returning to the persecution they fled in Germany. Uwe and Hannelore fear for their children's education as they would be forced to start from scratch in Germany since the country does not recognize their homeschool education.
While the current administration is overseeing record-breaking numbers of illegal immigrants entering the country, the Romeike family, who came to the United States legally and have contributed positively to their community, are being forced to leave. Uwe and Hannelore are advocating for their family to remain in the country, and their lawyer has promised to fight for them.
This sudden decision from ICE has left the Romeike family and their community in disbelief. Uwe and Hannelore are law-abiding citizens who have contributed positively to their community and raised their children to be responsible and productive members of society. The news of their potential deportation is a blow to their livelihood and their American dream. However, the family remains steadfast in their faith and hopeful that a solution will be found to allow them to stay in the only country they have called home for the past 15 years.