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Obama administration is trying to deport German homeschoolers who won political asylum

March 29, 2013 - Andrea Johnson
The Obama administration is attempting to deport a German homeschooling family who sought political asylum in the United States in 2008.

Germany does not permit homeschooling and, in some cases, has put the children of homeschoolers there into foster care and levied hefty fines against the parents.

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are devout evangelical Christians who first got into trouble in Germany in 2006 when they pulled their three eldest children out of school and began teaching them at home. The German government charged them more than $9,000 in fines and, on one occasion, forcibly took the children to school. After they lost a court case in 2007, the family fled to the United States. They were granted political asylum here and have settled in Tennessee, where they continue to home school their children. They have since had a sixth child, born in the United States. The Obama administration has been fighting to deport the family, arguing that home schooling is not a fundamental right. Undoubtedly the case is also straining U.S. relations with Germany.

Last year the Board of Immigration Appeals overturned the decision granting the Romeikes political asylum. There will be another hearing on the Romeikes' appeal of that decision in the Sixth Court of Appeals on April 23.

I have my doubts that I would enjoy the Romeikes' company but I think the Obama administration is making a disastrous mistake in trying to send them home, particularly at a time when the administration is arguing for a "path to citizenship" for the millions of illegal immigrants who are living in this country. Frankly, I think most Americans would prefer to keep the Romeikes, who are here legally, and send a few of the illegal immigrants home instead.

There is an online petition to keep the family in the United States. It can be found at


Article Comments



Apr-01-13 4:09 PM

Agreed, Andrea. The words "legal" and "illegal" both used to mean something in this country.


Mar-30-13 2:17 PM

How about the ones who are here illegally?

I've talked to too many legal immigrants, from a number of countries, who have paid thousands of dollars, traveled hundreds of miles for INS interviews and tests, waited five or more years before they were eligible for the citizenship tests. Some had been on waiting lists for up to 15 or 20 years to emigrate. Not one of them is in favor of letting illegal immigrants jump ahead of them in line and get to stay in this country, much less become citizens quickly, when they had to through so much effort to do it legally. No other country would allow illegal immigration.

This German family is here legally and should be allowed to stay.


Mar-29-13 5:29 PM

"People who seek asylum must show that they face persecution in their homeland on the basis of religion, race, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group."

This "religious" homeschooling family differs from the "political opinion" of the German gov't., as "members in a social group" called homeschoolers. Elementary to grant asylum in the Romeike case.


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