NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A German couple who fled to Tennessee so they could homeschool their children was granted political asylum Tuesday by a U.S. immigration judge, according to the legal group that represented them.
The decision clears the way for Uwe Romeike, his wife and five children to stay in Morristown, Tenn., where they have been living since 2008.
Romeike says his family was persecuted for their evangelical Christian beliefs and for homeschooling their children in Germany, where school attendance is compulsory.
When the Romeikes wouldn’t comply with repeated orders to send the children to school, police came to their home one October morning in 2006 and took the children to school.
In November 2007, Germany’s highest appellate court ruled that, in severe cases, social services officials could remove children from their parents.
After that decision, Romeike said, “We knew we had to leave the country.”