The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Obama Administration’s decision to deny asylum to a German homeschooling family.
The Romeike family fled their German homeland in 2008 seeking political asylum in the United States – where they hoped to home school their children. Instead, the Obama administration wants the evangelical Christian family deported.
An Immigration judge granted them asylum in 2010 after the family revealed they were facing criminal prosecution for homeschooling their children. That decision was later overturned by the Board of Immigration Appeals in 2012.
The court ruled today that the Romeikes had not made a sufficient case and that the United States has not opened its doors to every victim of unfair treatment.
“Congress might have written the immigration laws to grant a safe haven to people living elsewhere in the world who face government strictures the United States Constitution prohibits,” the court ruled. “But it did not.”
Michael Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, vowed to appeal the decision.
“America has room for this family and we will do everything we can to help them,” Farris said.
The court did rule that parents do have a right to direct the education and upbringing of their children. However, they refused to concede that the harsh treatment of religiously motivated homeschoolers in Germany amounts to persecution within our laws.
“Germany continues to persecute homeschoolers,” said Mike Donnelly, the HSLDA’s director of international affairs. “The court ignored mountains of evidence that homeschoolers are harshly fined and that custody of their children is gravely threatened—something most people would call persecution. This is what the Romeikes will suffer if they are sent back to Germany.”
The Justice Dept. is arguing that German law banning home schooling does not violate the family’s human rights.
“They are trying to send a family back to Germany where they would certainly lose custody of their children,” Farris told Fox News. “Our government is siding with Germany.”
Farris said the Germans ban home schools because “they don’t want to have religious and philosophical minorities in their country.”
“That means they don’t want to have significant numbers of people who think differently than what the government thinks,” he said. “It’s an incredibly dangerous assertion that people can’t think in a way that the government doesn’t approve of.”
He said the Justice Dept. is backing that kind of thinking and arguing ‘it is not a human rights violation.”