Following a federal appeals court decision denying asylum to a German homeschool family, a group of U.S. congressmen have sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking the Department of Justice (DOJ) to intervene. On May 14, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2012 decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals denying a request by Uwe and Hannalore Romeike to remain in the United States with their six children. The Romeikes fled to America in 2008 after suffering years of persecution from the German government over their decision to educate their children at home. Since then the family has been involved in a non-stop battle to remain in the country, with the Obama administration's DOJ taking a lead role in trying to force the family's deportation back to their native land.
Led by Indiana Representative Marlin Stutzman (shown in photo), the 27 congressman penned a letter to Holder, asking him to intervene and grant the family asylum in the United States. “A decision to deny the Romeikes the opportunity to educate their children freely is a decision to abandon our commitment to freedom,” the letter reads. “Doing so would put America alongside those countries that believe children belong to the community or state.”
The congressmen advised Holder that under U.S. law, “asylum should be granted to those experiencing persecution aimed at members of a 'particular social group,' which possesses an 'immutable' characteristic that either cannot or should not be required to be changed.” The lawmakers expressed their agreement with the 2010 ruling of Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman that German homeschoolers represent a unique social group that is being persecuted by the German government. “Although parents can change their minds about homeschooling, no parent in a free nation should be forced by the state to make that decision,” the congressmen said.
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Photo of Marlin Stutzman