Court upholds Obama Admin denial of asylum for German homeschool family
PURCELLVILLE, VA., May 14, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Today the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Obama Administration's denial of asylum granted to Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their six children.
The Romeikes fled Germany in 2008 when they were subjected to criminal prosecution for homeschooling. In Bissingen, district of Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg , they faced exorbitant fines, forcible removal of their children, and possible imprisonment all for homeschooling their children.
The Supreme Court of Germany declared that the purpose of the German ban on homeschooling was to "counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies."
The family, currently residing in Tennessee, was granted asylum in 2010 by Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman, but that grant was overturned by the Board of Immigration Appeals in 2012.
A three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit heard the Romeikes' appeal on April 23 in Cincinnati, and issued today's unanimous decision against the family. Uwe Romeike, a piano teacher, said that if the courts turned down their asylum completely, “it would mean they would send us back to Germany where we would face the same persecution as when we left.”
"We believe the Sixth Circuit is wrong and we will appeal their decision," said Michael Farris, HSLDA Founder and Chairman. "America has room for this family and we will do everything we can to help them."
The court said 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. Although the court acknowledged that the U.S. Constitution recognizes the rights of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children, it refused to concede that the harsh treatment of religiously and philosophically motivated homeschoolers in Germany amounts to persecution within our laws on asylum.
"Germany continues to persecute homeschoolers," said Mike Donnelly, HSLDA 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.
HSLDA will appeal the Sixth Circuit's ruling.
A White House petition to stop deportation of the Romeikes currently has 123,229 signatures and can be accessed here.