German Christian Home-Schooling Family Reportedly Given Stay of Deportation

Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn released a statement saying they received a stay of deportation by immigration officials this month.

Romeike family
Romeike family (photo: Romeike family)

A family of German Christians who has lived in the United States for years in order to continue home-schooling their children has received a stay of deportation for one year, after fears that they would be forced to leave the country, a U.S. senator says.

CNA reported last month that the Romeike family was facing potential deportation by the Biden administration after having spent more than a decade in the United States. Parents Uwe and Hannelore had brought their children to Tennessee after fleeing Germany in 2009, due to that country’s effectively outlawing home schooling for nearly every family living there.

A group of U.S. representatives had urged the Department of Justice last week to refrain from deporting the family. A U.S. senator, meanwhile, released a statement saying they received a stay of deportation by immigration officials this month. 

Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn said in a post on her Senate website on Friday that her office had “received news that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)” was “‘approving a Stay of Removal for one year’ for the Romeike family.”

In a post on X, the senator said she was “glad ICE has granted a 1-year stay of removal.” Blackburn had previously sent a letter urging Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to “allow the Romeike family to continue their lives” in Tennessee. 

Blackburn’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday morning. An ICE spokeswoman also did not immediately respond to queries seeking information about the reported stay of removal. 

The reason for the sudden potential deportation of the Romeike family has been unclear. Kevin Boden, an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and the director of HSLDA International, told CNA last month that the family’s possible ejection from the country had come without warning. 

“They were basically given four weeks to come back,” Boden said. “They [didn’t] know what [was] going to happen in that meeting. They [didn’t] know if [they were] going to be forced to leave.”

In their letter last week urging the DOJ to refrain from deporting the family, the U.S. representatives called the threat of ejection “as inexplicable as it is unconscionable.”

“Since their arrival to the United States, the members of the Romeike family have successfully assimilated into their local community and the fabric of American life,” they wrote. “Uwe, the father, works at a Christian university. The youngest two children were born and raised here. The older Romeike children have even gotten married and have had their own children.”

The Romeikes fled Germany due to that country’s markedly severe home-schooling laws. The practice is effectively illegal there, with virtually no exceptions or carve-outs for families seeking to educate their children at home. 

The Romeikes themselves are evangelical Christians and said they pulled their children from public school as the instruction the children were receiving conflicted with the family’s religious beliefs.

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