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Obama administration: deny asylum to homeschooling family

Catholic World News - February 13, 2013

Obama administration attorneys are urging a federal appellate court to deny asylum to a German couple who were prosecuted for homeschooling their children.

According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, Uwe Roemike and his wife, both of whom were music teachers, suffered “fines, forcible removal of their children, [and] threats of jail” for their decision to educate their children at home in violation of German law.

In 2010, an immigration judge granted asylum to Roemike, his wife, and their five children. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appealed the decision, and in May 2012 the Board of Immigration Appeals, siding with DHS, ordered the family deported. Roemike in turn appealed, and the Department of Justice is urging the deportation order to be upheld.

“Romeike’s petition for review should be denied because the record does not compel the conclusion that he faces a possibility of future persecution in Germany based on a protected ground,” administration attorneys argued. “In order to prevail, Romeike must show that the record compels the conclusion that Germany’s mandatory public school attendance law is selectively enforced, or that Germany metes out disproportionate punishment, on account of religious affiliation or another protected ground. Here, no record evidence compels the conclusion that Germany selectively enforces its public school attendance requirement, or that it disproportionately punishes any particular group for failing to comply with the law.”

“Moreover, as the Board properly found, ‘German homeschoolers’ do not constitute a viable particular social group,” the administration’s attorneys continued. “The group lacks social visibility and particularity, and this Circuit’s asylum law requires both elements for a cognizable ‘social group.’”

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  • Posted by: jasoncpetty3446 - Feb. 13, 2013 11:57 AM ET USA

    I read the brief, and it's largely based on a narrow legal ground the DOJ is advancing about "future persecution." There could be two reasons for this: (1) they are concerned about opening a flood of "future persecution" claims by all asylum seekers (not just German homeschoolers), or (2) Obama's DOJ hates homeschoolers. I'm inclined to think it's mostly (1) with a dash of (2).

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Feb. 13, 2013 10:15 AM ET USA

    First they came for the Jews, then for the..., and now they are coming for me. First they came for the Catholic hospitals, then for the Catholic adoption agencies, then for the Catholic crisis pregnancy centers, then for the Catholic employers, soon for the Catholic schools, then for the Catholic home schoolers... Are we prepared to lay down like the Germans apparently have? Or do we have the will to fight? Within the next couple of weeks I will be launching a website to begin the fight.

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