Skip to comments.White House petition reaches 100,000 signatures for home-schooling family
Posted on 04/20/2013 7:11:54 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
A Tennessee family of devout evangelical Christian asylum-seekers who face deportation to their native Germany has reached a milestone in their quest to remain in the United States, now that their petition on the White House's website collected more than 100,000 signatures in less than 30 days.
That's the magic number that the Obama administration says will trigger an official review and a formal response. The total currently stands are more than 111,000.
'Every state in the United States of America recognizes the right to homeschool,' reads the petition filed by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), 'and the U.S. has the worlds largest and most vibrant homeschool community. Regrettably, this family faces deportation in spite of the persecution they will suffer in Germany.'
That group sued the Department of Justice after a judge in the DOJ's Executive Office for Immigration Review ruled that Uwe and Hannelore Romeike's earlier grant of asylum should be revoked.
An estimated 2 million children in the US are home schooled, including the five out of six of the Romeikes' children who are school-age. Hannelore Romeike is pregnant and expecting her seventh child in June.
But the practice of teaching children at home instead of in government-run schools is illegal in Germany. An estimated 200 families teach their own children there anyway, even at the risk of fines, criminal prosecution and, in some cases, the loss of custody of their children.
'The public expects the White House to explain the inexplicable,' said the HSLDA's Michael Farris. 'In a season where the Administration has expressed leniency for millions of undocumented immigrants, we are baffled by the extreme attitudes toward this one German family.'
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
How is the White House petition promoted on these pages to impeach Obama doing?
BACKGROUNDER ON THIS CASE FOR THOSE UNFAMILIAR:
In a remarkably short time, Germany recovered smartly from the wreckage of its defeat in World War II to become the economic strong man of Europe.
Monuments to the nations plunge into Nazism remain at Dachau and other death camps as grim reminders of the dangers of an all-powerful state with a messianic leader.
Curiously, one aspect of the old Nazi state that originated in 1918, even before the Nazis took power, remains: a prohibition on home schooling. It seems the current education authorities are willing to enforce this draconian law to keep their monopoly.
A courageous German Christian couple refused to hand over their children to the government schools and fled to America three years ago. Now, the Obama Administration is trying to send them back. A likely outcome would be the state seizing the children and imprisoning the parents.
In December 2010, U.S. Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman granted asylum to Uwe and Hannalore Romeike, who home school their five children (they now have another baby as well). The family is living in Tennessee.
The U.S. Agency for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) filed an appeal, arguing that homeschoolers are not a fit category for granting asylum. Keep in mind that they bend the law to grant asylum to others, including same-sex partners. The Board of Immigration Appeals overturned Judge Burmans decision, and the family is fighting deportation.
Romeike v. Holder is now before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and will be heard on April 23.
In his ruling, Judge Burman declared that Germanys policy abridges basic human rights that no country has a right to violate and is repellent to everything we believe in as Americans.
Indeed, the United States has long protected parental rights. In 1925, the Supreme Court in Pierce v. Society of Sisters struck down Oregons compulsory attendance law, saying,
The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.
The Obama Administration cited a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, which says the public education laws of Germany do not violate basic human rights.
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The current German policy has a very dark pedigree. As William L. Shirer relates in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, the National Socialist Workers Party quickly moved to abrogate parental rights.
In a November 6, 1933 speech, Adolf Hitler warned parents:
I calmly say, Your child belongs to us already. You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.
On May 1, 1937, he said: This new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.
After Germany invaded Austria in 1938, the Nazis quickly de-Christianized the schools. In her book The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, Maria von Trapp, the real-life Maria played by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, related how one of her daughters came home to report that the teacher said that Jesus was only a naughty Jewish boy who ran away from his parents.
During a family meeting, a child explained, In school, we are not permitted to sing any religious songs with the names of Christ or Christmas. We can hardly sing any Bach for that reason.
In America, many liberals hide their contempt for Christianity behind a façade of tolerance. After a CNN interview I did a few years ago about American schools deleting Christmas and creating Winter Concerts, and how this reminded me of Maria von Trapps reminisince, I got a letter from a prominent liberal accusing me of belittling the Holocaust. It didnt make a lick of sense, since the Holocaust never came up even remotely. But my citing Mrs. von Trapps account of the Nazis repression of Christianity set him off. The charge was so off-the-wall that I didnt bother responding.
In another memoir titled Maria, Mrs. Von Trapp wrote about her and her husband Georgs decision to flee Austria: There was no real question what God wanted. As a family it was decided that we wanted to keep Him. We understood that this meant we had to get out.
The Romeike family came to the same conclusion and expected to find refuge in America, where freedom of religion is enshrined in the First Amendment.
It would be more than a shame if they find out they were wrong.
Why the Romeikes’ Fight Is Our Fight
by Ken Blackwell
The members of the Romeike (roh-MIKE-uh) family are refugees from Germany. They came here in 2008 and sought asylum. They claimed they were being persecuted in Germany. Father Uwe and his wife Hannelore have documented what happened in their native land. Their story was corroborated in an important law review article by Miki Kawashima published in Boston.
Imagine this scene: In October 2006, “German police officers entered the Romeike home without a written court order, forcibly removing the Romeike children, and escorted them to a public school.” German authorities laid heavy fines — upwards of $10,000 — on the Romeikes. They threatened to take the children away. The Romeikes fled to America, this home of freedom.
If it is hard for us to imagine armed federal agents breaking into our homes in the pre-dawn hours to snatch our children at gunpoint, then we need to remember this video.
Little Elian Gonzàlez was grabbed at gunpoint on Easter Sunday morning in 2000. He was in the arms of his loving Cuban-American family, in Miami’s Little Havana. His mother had died trying to get here in a leaking boat, in shark-infested waters. Her dying wish was for her son to live in freedom.
Bill Clinton and Janet Reno had other ideas. Elian needed to be reunited with his non-custodial father, the Clintons said. His father said he wanted Elian back, but no parent speaks to media in Cuba’s dictatorship without Castro’s “guidance.” Elian today is very happy, they tell us, having been raised in Cuba as an atheist and a member of Castro’s youth red brigades.
We need to be fair and charitable to our staunch allies in modern Germany. Ambassador to the U.S. Klaus Sharioth eloquently told a Heritage Foundation audience in 2009 that Germany was grateful for the 60,000,000 young Americans who had defended his country’s freedom from 1945 to 1990.
It was a moving and powerful statement. When can you ever recall America being thanked? The Germany of the Federal Republic is nothing like Hitler Germany. They deserve to be treated as dear friends and a model of democracy in many ways.
Even so, we should firmly tell the Germans: This persecution of Christians is how Germany went wrong. This is why you got first an Iron Chancellor in Otto von Bismarck, then a Kaiser bent on world power, and finally how, tragically, you fell prey to an evil Fürer!
The position of the Obama administration is that the right to home school is not part of the First Amendment guarantees of religious freedom in our Constitution. The Romeikes are therefore not being denied anything fundamental. Like Bill Clinton before him, President Obama wants the expel the freedom-seekers.
The Obama administration cannot take this position without riding roughshod over well-established U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence.
“The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excluded any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right and the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925)
“It is cardinal with us that the custody, care, and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the State can neither supply nor hinder.” Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 166 (1944)
“This case involves the fundamental interest of parents, as contrasted with that of the state, to guide the religious future and education of their children. The history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children. This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring tradition.” Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 232 (1972).
Will the Romeikes be the next Gonzàlezes? Will armed federal agents storm their little Tennessee home and forcibly deport them? Did Bill or Hillary Clinton or Janet Reno ever pay a price for their storm trooper tactics?
The Romeikes fight is our fight, too! Support them now by contacting www.hslda.org/romeike. We must recognize that home schoolers defend religious freedom for all of us — whether we home school our children or not. If they can be crushed, we all will see parents’ rights and First Amendment rights hollowed out.
When is the case ? it’s in federal court soon im pretty sure... next week?!
okay.. i’ll be ‘that guy’. Mexican family hops border to become illegal immigrants so their kids can have a better future = ‘send them home, back of the line’. German family does same thing, ‘Amnesty!’
The issue in this case has actually gone beyond home schooling, because the German government has made it clear they intend to take the children away from their parents so that they will be forced to attend public school.
While this legal eagle is right that there is no civil right to home school, there most certainly is a right for parents to raise their children, without fear that they will be taken away, not for criminal behavior on the part of the parents, but only because of social policy.
Oddly enough, Obama probably hopes against hope that someday the US courts will allow the government to take children away from their parents because the parents are, say, politically conservative.
Oddly enough, Obama probably hopes against hope that someday the US courts will allow the government to take children away from their parents because the parents are, say, politically conservative.
I doubt he needs "to hope against hope" for such power: the Department of Fatherland Security could easily cook up a list of "known terrorist organizations," start rounding up and redistributing children, and count on a tame Democratic [sic] party judge to call it legal. He'd probably rather disarm the workers and peasants, but I'm sure if he wanted to take children away from patriotic parents, he could make it happen this week.
They have previously been granted political asylum here.
Obama’s admininstration - ICE - appealed the case !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They come for religious freedom.
Not to “make it big in America”, i.e., free stuff, easy money.
And they were duly granted political asylum.
okay, but seriously.. are we going to let anyone that jumps the border cause they want to homeschool their kids in?
There is a difference between Mexicans hopping the border and this family. This German family DID NOT COME TO THIS COUNTRY ILLEGALY.
They applied by another immigration category — ASYLUM. They applied via this category claiming the German government had denied their religious freedom by forbidding them from homeschooling their children.
German law mandates that children attend public schools. And in 2007, Germany’s highest appellate court ruled that parents who fail to comply can lose custody of their children in extreme cases; homeschool families can also face significant fines.
Also, this German family ARE NOT A BURDEN to any taxpayer. They sold their assets in Germany, came here, bought a farm and raise their own food.
The issue is this — BASED ON THEIR CLAIMS, SHOULD THEIR APPLICATION FOR ASYLUM (A LEGAL Category in US immigration law ) BE GRANTED?
APPLES AND ORANGES comparisons here when comparing to illegals coming from Mexico.
RE: They come for religious freedom.
Not to make it big in America, i.e., free stuff, easy money.
TRUE. This family IS NOT a burden to taxpayers.
Uwe Romeike, a classically-trained pianist, relocated their brood to a small farm in the shadow of the Smokey Mountains in eastern Tennessee. They raise their own food and are SELF-SUFFICIENT.
Americans should be outraged over the way the Obama administration has treated the Romeike family. The result of this case could have repercussions for families that home school in this nation.
The right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children has been at the pinnacle of human rights.
RE: are we going to let anyone that jumps the border cause they want to homeschool their kids in?
Does Mexico threaten any family that wants to homeschool their kids?
-— Does Mexico threaten any family that wants to homeschool their kids? Post ——
How many Freepers know that “free” compulsory government schooling is plank #10 of the Communist Manifesto?
They stole our kids 150 years ago.
Has anyone noticed that this roughly represents the beginning of America’s decline?
I’m sure there are other countries that do.. are you willing to grant any that can make it here citizenship?
and mister - seekandfind.. Please don’t consider me trolling. I have much respect for the vast majority of your points.. just want to think this stance all the way through.
Okay.. i guess the end all be all is the blow out is - if Mexico decided that all their kids had to go to public school.. would you support amnesty for all illegals with kids? I grant you, that is quite a hypothetical.
What is it exactly you are saying?
When we get 18,000,000 - 40,000,000 Germans illegally here, then come back and talk.
It's probably just a bad mood because of my tiredness, but you seem to be willingly ignorant or obtuse.
I think it’s a good question, and a tough one, given the way our asylum policy is abused (Boston Bombers anyone?)
There are how many million illegal immigrants in the US ? (not only from Mexico) ? Say 10’s of millions, etc.
If a country has 10 million people trying to leave because of religious persecution, it’s a bigger problem than can be handled by granting asylum in the US.
The US does grant asylum on a case by case basis, but we can’t handle a case of 10 million, 20 million, etc.
Ironic - will deport peaceful citizens for the sin of not allowing their kid’s to become brainwashed, but will not deport those they suspect of being budding terrorists and having criminal records.
RE: if Mexico decided that all their kids had to go to public school.. would you support amnesty for all illegals with kids?
The intent of the current amnesty program is to look at applications on a CASE by CASE basis, such as this one. The situation is LIMITED to a few.
It goes without saying that if MILLIONS of Germans or Mexicans use this as a basis to come to the USA, this program can be modified or changed by law.
RE; If a country has 10 million people trying to leave because of religious persecution, its a bigger problem than can be handled by granting asylum in the US.
We don’t grant asylum to all people from Rwanda when they were being slaughtered were we?
We don’t grant asylum to all North Koreans do we?
However, we DO on a case by case basis grant asylum to SOME Rwandans or North Koreans who by luck or good fortune, happen to arrive at our shores safely.
That’s just the way things are currently.
Unless of course you want to SCRAP the asylum law altogether to be absolutely consistent and deport these unfortunate people home to be slaughtered, jailed or starved.
At this point, it would still be too much, too fast, so they are far more likely to use a gradualism approach at first, and try to “blend it in” with media cover.
That is, pick selected targets, home invade to take their kids, arrest them on a contrived charge based on anything in their home, like expired prescription drugs, an “arsenal” of a handgun, a rifle, and a BB rifle, go through their library for any “incriminating style”, “right wing extremist” books like the Bible and a book by Ann Coulter; root through their garage to find anything that could theoretically be used in a bomb, like wire, electrical tape, a cellphone, gasoline, etc., all called “bomb making materials” in the arrest report.
As was the case of the engineer arrested in Louisiana, once the children are taken away, have a judge immediately give custody to ready “foster parents”, guaranteeing many months before even the possibility of their return. Have the parents in jail awaiting trial for a year and a half; then offer them another five years of legal battles to get their kids back.
They probably figure they can ‘turn’ children in a decade or less of total control, while ruining and impoverishing their family, hopefully driving them to destitution, crime, and most certainly welfare. If they commit suicide, great.
RE: if you take them one at a time.. every family is one family...
Nope, not true at all.
We grant asylum on a CASE by CASE basis. We’ve always done that. We did not grant millions of Rwandans asylum in the 1990’s when the Hutus were slaughtering the Tutsis by the hundreds of thousands ( maybe millions ).
We do not grant asylum to all South Sudanese in Darfur when they were systematically being slaughtered by the Northern Muslims.
However, we DO grant asylum to those who are FORTUNATE ENOUGH to have made it to our shores for some reason after looking at their petition and considering the situation they are in. Again the operative word is CASE by CASE.
Is the law CONSISTENT? NO IT ISN’T.
Do you want this law to be scrapped altogether and deport those INDIVIDUALS ( emphasis ) who have made it the the USA, and have a legitimate fear of being killed or jailed or have their children taken away against all known decent concept of HUMAN RIGHTS?
I don’t. Maybe you do.
Fine, fight for the law to be scrapped. You have the right to do so. Call and write to your congressman.
RE: Im sure there are other countries that do.. are you willing to grant any that can make it here citizenship?
Asylum? Yes. With one proviso -— THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BE A BURDEN TO TAX PAYERS LIKE THIS GERMAN FAMILY (Who are self sufficient).
I have faith in the American people and their ability to INDIVIDUALLY help people like these.
Why? Because I personally will to the best of my ability, and so will my friends and my church.
America HAS always done that without the welfare system in place.
RE: Please dont consider me trolling.
As long as your arguments are within reason and your responses are civil, I do not consider them trolling :)