U.S. Court Denies German Homeschool Family Asylum
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 May 15
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the Obama administration's refusal to grant asylum to a German homeschooling family, CBN News reports. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder filed against the Romeike family, arguing that asylum should not be granted because homeschooling is not a fundamental right protected under religious freedom. The Romeikes fled Germany in 2008, facing criminal prosecution for homeschooling. In 2010, they were granted political asylum by immigration judge Lawrence Burman, but his decision was overturned by the Board of Immigration Appeals last year. On Tuesday, the three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit issued a unanimous decision against the family. While the 6th Circuit did acknowledge that the U.S. Constitution recognizes the right of parents to homeschool, it refused to grant that what the Romeikes face amounts to persecution deserving of asylum. The Romeikes said they were disappointed but said, "God is in control." They know what they face in Germany if they are deported: "First, they would fine us with increasingly high fines and they would threaten to take away custody. There might be jail time too, but the main threat is the aspect of custody because then of course the children are taken away from you completely and that's what no family wants." The Home School Legal Defense Association plans to appeal the decision.