On April 23, 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing arguments in the Romeike v. Holder case, where the Romeike family will attempt to get a deportation order against them set aside. This German family was originally granted asylum in the United States on the grounds that their home country of Germany prevented them from homeschooling their children. However that decision was overturned by a panel of the Board of Immigration Appeals and this is all due to the pursuits of the Obama Department of Justice, who are clearly persecuting a family simply based on their desire to do what Pilgrims did several hundred years ago and that is pursue religious freedom and educate their children accordingly.
Imagine that! Barack Obama has a drunk uncle we can’t seem to get deported, our country is filled with illegal aliens (Yes, I’m going to keep calling them that no matter what AP and the current administration refer to them as), and Mexican drug cartels working inside U.S. borders that we aren’t deporting and here a wholesome homeschooling family, desiring to educate their children themselves are being pushed to the front of the line for deportation. Something is wrong with this picture.
So why is homeschooling illegal in Germany, you ask? Since 1938, German parents have not been able to legally homeschool their children due to the practice being banned by the Nazis and their purpose in doing so was to force children to be indoctrinated by the school system under the control of Hitler. Yes, you can bet your bottom dollar that Barack Obama has his sights set on that agenda too.
One thing that does stand out however is that Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are evangelical Christians. That’s right, they are deemed by agencies in our government and some parts of our military as “religious extremists.” They removed their children from the public education system in Germany in 2006 claiming that their children were being taught things that were against the family’s religious beliefs. Would to God that more American Christian parents would follow their lead!
But this was not all. They were in violation of German law and face fines and imprisonment for their decision. The Romeike’s were fined approximately $9,000! They were also threatened with having their children taken away from them by the state unless they returned them to school.
The family finally fled to the United States in 2008 and put forth a claim for asylum on those grounds. The family had since settled in Tennessee in had a hearing in Memphis on January 21, 2010. Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman heard their case and granted them asylum.
In his oral reasons, the judge stated, “Homeschoolers are a particular social group that the German government is trying to supress. This family has a well-founded fear of persecution…therefore they are eligible for asylum.”
But that was not enough for the Obama administration. No, they appealed the judge’s ruling to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Their grounds for appeal will no doubt be much the same kind of ridiculuous notion that children don’t belong to their parents and as such don’t have the right to educate them by way of homeschooling. Not only does the Federal government not have constitutional authority in education, but they think they, like Hitler and the Third Reich, have the only authority to make children feed at the trough of the government public education system.
Here are three arguments the government is expected to raise:
- The government will point out that while homeschooling in Germany in banned in most cases, there are rare exceptions when it is allowed. Roma and Germans who are required to travel a lot for business have gotten exemptions to allow for homeschooling their children while they are on the road. And the government will refer to a decision of the European Court of Human Rights that held banning homeschooling does not violate the basic human rights of German. Therefore the government will say that German law complies with international law.
- A second argument that the government will raise is that the religious rights of the Romeikes have not been infringed. People homeschool or want to homeschool their children for reasons that have nothing to do with religion. And not all Christians, even evangelicals, think it is necessary to remove their children from state-run schools. There is therefore no direct nexus between homeschooling and religion.
- The third argument will be that the homeschoolers do not constitute a particular social group. In order to qualify as a particular social group, the group must be “immutable.” That means it is either impossible for members of the group to change (ie. black males) or changing (ie. a person’s political opinion) would involve the person making an extreme sacrifice that they should not be forced to make. The government will argue that just like parents can keep changing their children’s school, they can go back and forth between a school and homeschooling. And it will be pointed out that if parents do not particularly like what schools are teaching, they can teach their children anything they want to during the evening or on weekends.
The Romeike’s are represented by Homeschool Legal Defense. Michael Farris said that the right of parents to educate their children as they see fit is not only a right that is to be seen under the United States Constitution, but it is also recognized internationally, citing the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which reads, “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” While that appeal is compelling to many, the fact is there should be no appeal outside our own borders. The Federal government simply does not have the authority to tell parents how to educate their children.
With that in mind, there is a petition that was started to bring this to light before the American people. This petition is to make the White House address the issue and should help to expose what is taking place. Will you sign to encourage the family and support them, letting them know you stand by their rights to teach their children without government assistance, fines or threats of imprisonment or having their children removed from them? Click here to sign the petition.
“We …encourage others to get behind these modern day Pilgrims who came to America to seek religious freedom for themselves and their children,” said HSLDA President Michael Farris.
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