I’m sure that most of us have read about the trials and tribulations of the Romeike family who had to flee Germany and come to the United States because of their desire to homeschool their children. A smart, intelligent, compassionate judge in Tennessee granted the asylum. So what happens next? The U. S. Government (the same one who apparently wants to give illegal immigrants who are vocally anti-American the path to citizenship) has decided to appeal the judge’s decision. (This also illustrates why we need an amendment to the U. S. Constitution to guarantee that our government–judges and executive agencies included–observe U. S. law and not "amorphous"–to use the Immigration and Customs Enfocement Agency’s own word–international law.)
In an item headlined "Homeschoolers win U.S. asylum, now face deportation: Agency seeks European precedent applied in Tennessee case" on March 22, 2010, Bob Unruh of WorldNetDaily reported that U.S. immigration authorities, citing a European court ruling, are arguing in an appeal that a family that fled Germany and gained asylum in Tennessee claiming their government persecuted them for homeschooling should be returned to their home country.
According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has lodged an appeal of Judge Lawrence Burman’s grant of asylum to the family of Uwe and Hannelore Romeike.
WND reported in January when the federal immigration judge said in his ruling, "We can’t expect every country to follow our Constitution. The world might be a better place if it did. However, the rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate."
The decision in the Memphis, Tenn., hearing granted permission to Romeike and their five children to remain in the U.S., according to the Virginia-based HSLDA, which has been working on the family’s case.
"This decision finally recognizes that German homeschoolers are a specific social group that is being persecuted by a Western democracy," Mike Donnelly, staff attorney and director of international relations for HSLDA, said at the time.
"It is embarrassing for Germany, since a Western nation should uphold basic human rights, which include allowing parents to raise and educate their own children."
But today, the HSLDA called it a "deeply disturbing" development for ICE to appeal Burman’s decision.
The appeal, submitted to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Fairfax, Va., claimed homeschoolers are too "amorphous" to be a "particular social group," the HSLDA said.
Further, the agency claims, the U.S. "law has recognized the broad power of the state to compel school attendance and regulate curriculum and teacher certification."
ICE sought application of the Konrad case in the European Court of Human Rights that "the public education laws of Germany do not violate basic human rights." The ruling elaborated that parents had no right to direct the education of their own children because that was a responsibility of the state.
"In other words, it appears that ICE is arguing that U.S. judges should follow international law – rather than U.S. law," the HSLDA said in an alert.
"American judges should use American law alone in making decisions about cases in American courts," said Michael Smith, president of the HSLDA. "Polls show that Americans by an overwhelming margin reject the idea of using international law in American courts to decide American cases. The use of international law in American courts is a threat to American justice and should be opposed."
ICE argued that the U.S. government simply could ban all homeschooling – and that should disqualify the granting of asylum.
"ICE further asserts that Germany’s harsh treatment of homeschoolers is mere prosecution, not persecution. ICE lawyers wrote that ‘[e]ven were such fear[s] objectively reasonable, these sanctions would only amount to prosecution,’" the HSLDA said.
"ICE argues that the judge’s ruling is ‘speculative’ because sanctions had been applied in a ‘limited number of circumstances’ and that the Romeikes had failed to ‘make any effort to locate an acceptable alternative school.’"
But the HSLDA said those claims had been argued in the Romeike case and shown to be false.
Michael Donnelly, a staff attorney for the organization and director of its International Relations division, said, "It is disappointing but not surprising that ICE has appealed."
He continued, "Judge Burman appropriately noted that homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and his decision reflects U.S. law which upholds the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing their children as an enduring American tradition, entitling the family to protection from persecution.
"ICE argues that Germany’s denial of a parent’s right to homeschool for any reason is acceptable. It is shameful that ICE, and by extension the U.S. government, supports the persecution of German homeschoolers," Donnelly said.
ICE officials declined a WND request for comment. (I wonder why? Rather than letting the Romeikes find the peace they desire in this country that’s supposed to be dedicated to freedom, our government is going to spend our tax dollars in appealing the judge’s rightful decision and further persecute this family.)