On these pages, I recently asked for prayer for the Uwe and Hannelore Romeike. The Romeikes, an evangelical couple from Germany, wanted to homeschool their six children in Germany as they had grave concerns that the German public schools taught non-Christian values. Homeschooling in Germany, banned continuously since the Nazi era, is the only European nation where homeschooling is banned outright. As a result, because the Romeikes homeschooled their children in Germany, they faced significant fines, imprisonment, and the loss of custody of their children. As a result, the family fled to the United States in 2008, and applied for asylum. In 2010, Judge Lawrence O. Burman reasonably and appropriately granted political asylum in the U.S. for the Romeikes based upon the evidence presented to him and the appropriate legal standard. However, Secretary Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security appealed Judge Burman’s ruling arguing that German laws banning homeschooling do not violate the family’s fundamental human rights, and she withdrew the family’s asylum status. In late April, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on appeal from the Romeikes, and then upheld the Obama Administration’s denial of asylum granted to the Romeike family.
On June 5, 2013, the Human Rights Committee of the Northern Illinois Chapter of the Christian Legal Society sent a letter to Attorney General Holder, which read as follows:
Dear Attorney General Holder:
On behalf of the Northern Illinois Chapter of the Christian Legal Society, I urge that you grant asylum to the family of Uwe and Hannalore Romeike from Germany, who came to the United States in 2008 after being victims of persecution by the German government for their desire to homeschool their children. The Supreme Court has long held that the right of parents to “direct the education and upbringing” of their children is a fundamental right. Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-35 (1925). However, in Germany, the Romeike family experienced persecution for exercising their fundamental right. Further, this is a right long recognized by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Article 26(3), which states that parents have a “prior right” over the government to choose their children’s education. Accordingly, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(A), we respectfully urge that you exercise your authority to grant asylum to the Romeike family.
Copies of this letter were also sent to the two Illinois Senators and Illinois Congressman Peter Roskam. This letter follows a recent letter by 27 members of Congress urging Mr. Holder to grant asylum to the Romeikes. Their letter is available here:
If you wish to write to Attorney General Holder regarding this important matter, his address is:
The Honorable Eric Holder
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
Further, if you are interested in seeing a short video of the Romeike family, please see the link here. A White House petition seeking asylum of the Romeikes presently has almost 126,000 signatures. If you wish to sign this petition, you can find it here. In the meantime, keep praying for the Romeike family. If the Obama Administration wins this effort to deport the Romeikes, your rights as a parent are at risk.