federal appeals court has agreed to hear arguments from a German couple who are seeking asylum in the U.S. According to Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, the German authorities could take their five children away from them if they return to Germany because they want to homeschool their children. The Romeikes first moved to the U.S. in 2008, but as an article from WorldMag explains, they could be sent back to Germany:A
The judge found the family has legitimate fear of persecution in Germany, where a small group of Christian homeschooling families have already been jailed, fined, and stripped of their children.
But the Department of Homeland Security immediately disputed the judge's decision. Last May, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) sided with the government.
The German authorities don’t like the fact that the Romeikes wish to homeschool their children, which is illegal under German law. Before coming to the U.S. the Romeikes' children were on one occasion driven to a government-approved school by police.
In Germany children must attend schools approved by the state. The Romeikes did not want to send their children to a state-approved school because they believe God wants their children to be taught at home, in violation of German law.
The American government does not believe that the Romeikes are being persecuted, saying that their complaints are vague. From the AP:
The U.S. government said in court documents the Romeikes did not belong to any particular Christian denomination and described the parents' objections to the government-approved schools as vague.
For instance, Uwe Romeike claimed a textbook "featured a story suggesting that `the devil can help you if you ask the devil, but God would not help you,'" the government said. But he could not recall the title of the story or its author.
Romeike also claimed the schools taught witchcraft based on a game played by classmates of his wife when she was in the seventh grade "that involved pushing chairs and glasses around, and dangling a pendulum."
While it might be the case that the Romeikes want to teach their children lessons some might find unorthodox the German government should allow them to do so. While the U.S. public education system is a disaster at least Americans have the option (albeit oftentimes hindered by unnecessary red tape) of opting out of state-approved education, an option German parents unfortunately don’t have.