A national home school organization is petitioning the Obama administration to allow a German family to remain in the U.S. so they can continue homeschooling their five children.
Music teachers Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, who are evangelical Christians, began homeschooling their children in Germany in 2006. Two years later, after facing police visits to their home to take their kids to public school, the family fled to the U.S.
“The U.S. Department of Justice and the White House have the ability to be lenient,” Michael Farris, chairman and founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), told CitizenLink. “This petition asks the White House to focus on that idea — to be more welcoming to homeschoolers.”
In 2010, HSLDA took the family’s case and helped them win a legal battle. They became the first family to obtain asylum based on the protection of homeschooling rights. Shortly after, the U.S. government appealed the decision to the Board of Immigration, claiming the family’s case failed to show that there was any discrimination based on religion.
After the Board sided with the government, HSLDA appealed to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Farris will argue on behalf of the Romeike family before a three-judge panel in the appeals court on April 23.
The Romeike’s case has generated national and international attention from media outlets including Fox News, Glenn Beck and the Associated Press. The family is scheduled to appear on The Mike Huckabee Show on April 6.
So far, nearly 30,000 people have signed the White House petition, but it needs a total of 100,000 by April 18 in order to receive an official response from the Obama administration.
Farris said this case is important to all Americans.
“When the United States government says that homeschooling is a mutable choice, it is saying that a government can legitimately coerce you to change this choice,” Farris explained. “In other words, you have no protected right to choose what type of education your children will receive. We should understand that in these arguments, something very concerning is being said about the liberties of all Americans.”
Sign HSLDA’s petition urging the Obama administration to ensure permanent legal status for the Romeikes.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about the Romeike family and their case.
Learn more about HSLDA.