The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the Obama administration’s denial of asylum granted to the Romeike family, who fled Germany over its strict anti-homeschooling laws.
In a press release Tuesday, Michael Farris, founder and chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), said, “We believe the Sixth Circuit is wrong and we will appeal their decision. America has room for this family and we will do everything we can to help them.”
The Romeikes fled Germany in 2008 when they were subjected to criminal prosecution for homeschooling, which is largely illegal in their country. In 2010, however, the family was granted asylum by Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman, whose decision was overturned by the Board of Immigration Appeals in 2012. A three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit heard the Romeikes’ appeal on April 23rd and issued a unanimous decision against the family.
In its decision, 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.
While 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 threats of heavy fines or loss of custody of their children by German authorities if the Romeikes refused to send their children to government schools were enough to classify them as a persecuted group and warrant asylum in the United States.
HSLDA has obtained over 120,000 signatures on a White House petition to stop deportation of the Romeike family.