Court denies asylum to German family punished by Nazi law

Romeike familyMay 15, 2013

By John Seiler

In 1938, Hitler imposed an anti-home schooling law on German families. All children were required to attend Third Reich-approved schools, receiving indoctrination in Nazism and anti-Semitism, and to join the Hitlerjugend — the Hitler Youth.

American G.I.’s including my father, two uncles and a cousin, invaded and defeated Der Fuehrer. Then he committed suicide in his Berlin bunker in 1945. The G.I.’s then stuck around a while and de-Nazified Germany.

But they missed something. They never got rid of Hitler’s 1938 anti-home-schooling law.

To escape the Hitlerite law, in 2008 the Romeike family fled to America, where they sought freedom and asylum. They just wanted to teach their children at home, in their own family beliefs, including anti-Hitlerism.

Fortunately, at least for now home schooling is not too regulated by the American governments. California‘s homeschooling laws actually are pretty good. You have to set up an independent school and keep regular records of student achievement. An attempt to squeeze out homeschoolers a decade ago by then-Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin was roundly defeated. Even her usual liberal Democratic allies saw it as a power grab and backed the families.

Court decision

For the Romeike family, the Obama administration denied their asylum request, insisting that they return to the Fatherland to be repressed by the Hitlerite law. With the assistance of the Home School Legal Defense Fund, the Romeike family has been appealing the Obama decision through the court system. The latest, from the HSLD:

“The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today [May 14] upheld the Obama Administration’s denial of asylum granted to the Romeike family.

“The Romeikes fled Germany in 2008 when they were subjected to criminal prosecution for homeschooling. They were 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.

“’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. Please continue to keep the Romeike family and HSLDA’s litigation team in your thoughts and prayers.”

Along with the IRS attacks on conservative and libertarian groups, and the Justice Department’s pilfering of Associated Press phone records, this denial of asylum to a family persecuted by a Nazi law has shown the true nature of the Obama administration.

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