The Romeike family from Germany is taking their fight for asylum to the United States Supreme Court. As previously reported by Off The Grid News, Uwe and Hannelore, both evangelical Christians, want to be able to homeschool their children and educate them in a safe and wholesome environment. All went well for the immigrants until the Obama administration decided to overrule a lower court decision and decided the Romeike family should be on the first plane back to Germany—where they face steep fines, possible jail time, and the potential removal of their children.
In 2010, an immigration judge gave the Romeike family asylum on human rights grounds, but the federal government appealed the court ruling and began the long legal journey which ultimately led to the Supreme Court. The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently denied the Romeike family’s request for a new hearing on the asylum matter.
Homeschooling was deemed an illegal act by Adolf Hitler prior to World War II. While the law has never been taken off the books, a hard line on the enforcement front had not always been taken until recently. The Obama administration’s US Justice Department does not feel that the denial of the right to practice their religion and educate their children as they see fit constitutes an infringement upon the Romeike family’s human rights.
The Home School Legal Defense Association, which has helped so many American families with homeschooling battles, is also aiding the Romeike family. The non-profit organization was formed to help advance and defend the constitutional rights of parents to guide the education of their children.
HSLDA founder Michael Farris had this to say about the Romeike deportation legal battle:
“This is not over yet. We are taking this case to the Supreme Court because we firmly believe that this family deserves the freedom that this country was founded on. Despite Friday’s order, the Sixth Circuit’s opinion contains two clear errors: First, they wholly ignored Germany’s proclamation that a central reason for banning homeschooling is to suppress religious minorities. Second, the Sixth Circuit erred when it failed to address the claim that parental rights are so fundamental that no government can deny parents the right to choose an alternative to the public schools. The German High Court is on record for saying that religious homeschoolers should be targeted and severely punished, yet our Justice Department sees nothing wrong with that.”
Farris went on to accurately note that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ignored ample evidence that the Romeike family is being persecuted for their religious beliefs and will very likely face legal punishment if forced to return to their homeland. There was absolutely no reason for the Obama administration to appeal the decision or the original immigration case judge.
The Justice Department has undertaken no similar action when hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants have poured across our southern borders from Mexico. Quite to the contrary, President Obama and his throngs of adoring liberals have shouted to the heavens the valuable role immigrants play in the United States. Why should all of those who sneak into the country get to stay and be touted as victims of a repressive society, yet a couple with six children who followed proper protocol be sent away and face prosecution?
Perhaps the answer to why the Obama administration and liberals in general tend to shun homeschooling is best explained by a report written for Slate by Dana Goldstein. The piece was entitled, “Liberals, Don’t Homeschool Your Kids: Why Teaching Children at Home Violates Progressive Values.”
A quote from Goldstein’s article reads:
“Government is the only institution with the power and scale to intervene in the massive undertaking of better educating American children.”
Apparently Goldstein has not spent enough time reviewing either academic progress statistics or factored safety and negative moral influences into the equation. A Justice Department letter asking the court to deny a new hearing in the Romeike deportation case appears to support Germany’s decision to prohibit homeschooling. The letter stated that the opposition to the development of “parallel societies” or religiously or philosophically motivated societies is designed to create an open and pluralistic society.
An excerpt from the Obama Administration letter sent by Eric Holder’s Justice Department reads:
“Teaching tolerance to children of all backgrounds helps to develop the ability to interact as a fully functioning citizen in Germany. It is scarcely feasible, with those stated goals in mind, to tease from the opinion, a persecutory motive on the part of those who enforce the law.”
Once again, HSLDA’s Michael Farris accurately described the wrong-minded ideas offered by the Obama administration in the Romeike family case when he detailed their approach to tolerance. Farris noted that Attorney General Eric Holder is attempting to dismiss the homeschooling and religious freedom case because he is not bothered by the targeting of specific groups. The recent IRS scandal could be offered as proof of the Obama administration’s willingness to target those with philosophical differences.
Michael Farris had this to say about the Justice Department’s views on the Romeike asylum case:
“Attorney General Holder is trying to seek dismissal of this case because he believes that targeting specific groups in the name of tolerance is within the normal legitimate functions of government. This cannot be the ultimate position of the United States without denying the essence of our commitment to liberty. We’re trying to provide a home for this family who would otherwise go back to facing fines, jail time, and forcible removal of their children because of their religious convictions about how their children should be educated. Why Attorney General Holder thinks that it is appropriate for any country to do this to a family simply for homeschooling is beyond me.”
Republican Illinois Congressman Randy Hultgren is standing up for the Romeike family in Congress. He recently gave a speech on the House floor appealing for the legally granted asylum order to be upheld.
An excerpt from the GOP Congressman’s speech about religious freedom and homeschooling reads:
“One of the most treasured privileges of parents living in the United States is the freedom to choose the means to best educate their children. For many families, including my own, that choice is homeschooling.”
Congressman Hultgren is not alone in his support of the Romeike asylum request. Nearly 30 congressmen signed and sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that he stop fighting for the deportation of the Christian homeschooling family.
What do you think about the Romeike asylum battle?