A request for a full 25 judge Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals hearing failed in the Romeike family’s US political asylum pursuit denied by the Appeals Court 3-judge panel in May. The German family will ask for a Supreme Court review. The petition must be filed by October 11.
German Couple Living in Tenn. Take Asylum Case to the U.S. Supreme Court
Central Tennessee’s WMOT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The family who fled to Tennessee from Germany because that nation does not allow home schooling will appeal their asylum bid to the U.S. Supreme Court.
According to attorney’s representing Uwe and Hannelore Romeike (roh-MEYE-kee), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled late last week that it will not revisit it’s May decision to deny asylum to the couple and their children.
As pointed out on News & Commentary in February, Boston College Law School’s Miki Kawashima Matrician released a Note in the Boston College International & Comparative Law Review justifying homeschoolers as a “particular social group”. Matrician’s article [German Homeschoolers as "Particular Social Group": Evaluation Under Current U.S. Asylum Jurisprudence] concluded:
The BIA can and should find that the family is a member of a “particular social group” under either the immutable characteristics or the social perceptions approaches. German homeschoolers share characteristics, the validity of which are recognized by international law, that ought not to be changes. The U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, the ICESCR, and the European Convention for Human Rights all recognize a parent’s right to choose the appropriate educational venue for her child. Moreover, homeschoolers in Germany join organization to provide support for each other, exchange ideas, and share legal representation. They are perceived as a recognizable group by their alleged persecutor, as well as by society at large- in Germany and abroad.
This approach will realize the vision intended by Congress in its enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980. In formulating a cogent standard, DHS, BIA, and the courts must not be blinded by fears of a flood of applicants. They should strive to fulfill the humanitarian obligations required by the Convention, to provide a safe haven for those in dire straits.
But on the conservative American Spectator blog, Aaron Goldstein opines on Why U.S. Should Not Grant German Homeschooling Family Asylum
Indeed, I do not agree with Germany’s law against homeschooling. However, the German people have legitimate, democratic elections. If Germans don’t like the decisions made by the Bundestag they are in a position to change their government. Ergo there is nothing to prevent the Romeikes from petitioning the German government to change the laws concerning homeschooling. The same cannot be said of a Christian family from Cuba or Iran. These are the sort of regimes from which U.S asylum law is intended to grant people relief and refuge, not a democratic government like Germany.
I am not unsympathetic to the plight of the Romeikes. But if they want to live in the United States there is nothing to have prevented them from immigrating here through conventional means.
An interesting continuation of this issue is the significant discussion and study of the political asylum definition. For this case, there are proponents and opponents in and out of the homeschool community, as well as across the political spectrum. Hopefully, the Romeikes are not being used as pawns, while their well-being is always considered along this particular legal effort to stay in the United States. As an alternative noted by Goldstein, many wonder why the family wasn’t advised and didn’t seek conventional immigration means.