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German Family Faces Deportation, Illegal DREAM Immigrants Allowed To Stay

Romeike Family

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If ever there was evidence of the upside down world of our immigration system, it would be the story of the Romeike family from Germany. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are Christians and because of their Christian beliefs, they decided to home school their children, even though German law does not grant them that right. They felt it important enough that they defied that law and were facing increasingly higher fines and the possibility of losing custody of their children. Because of their strong belief that they should be able to educate their children themselves, they moved to Morristown, TN in 2008. It should be noted that they did so legally and asked for political asylum. They were granted asylum in 2010 by an immigration judge, a decision that was overturned in 2012 by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

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It is also important to note that the Obama administration may not be at fault here, specifically. By that, I mean that the people making the decision to appeal the original decision that granted the Romeike family political asylum are likely career lawyers inside the immigration enforcement system. So, while it is true that the Obama administration did appeal the decision, technically, it was probably not at the direction of the White House. In the interest of fairness, we should remember the vast government bureaucracy that makes up so much of the federal government.

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Before writing this post, I performed a fair amount of research on the background of the case. As it turns out, the reasons the decision was appealed and reversed are fairly straightforward. Technically, the Romeike family may not meet the legal definition of having been persecuted for religious reasons. I can understand that as a nation of laws, our legal system should be followed. Our system of immigration laws have certain legal guidelines for granting political asylum on the grounds of religious persecution and from what I can tell, those guidelines were not necessarily met. Having said that, I have one giant question that is just begging to be asked.

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If the Romeike family does not meet the legal guidelines, can an exemption not be granted so they can be allowed to stay in the United States? Yes, I know our immigration laws are in place for a reason, but has that stopped the Obama administration from granting exemptions, heretofore? The short answer is no, it has not. I know President Obama can not intervene in each individual immigration case, but he did intervene in the enforcement of these same immigration laws and ordered the departments charged with enforcing the relevant immigration laws to stop deporting certain groups of immigrants. Specifically, he said it was not the fault of the DREAM immigrants that they were brought to America, that they broke no laws by coming. Therefore, he has granted them the right to ask for legal status.

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Here is the million dollar question. If President Obama has granted exemptions to the aforementioned DREAM immigrants, why not grant the Romeike family the same opportunity? Would that be too much to ask for a family who came to America legally, followed the proper legal procedures, all for the freedom to teach their children as they saw fit?

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As of today, the United States Supreme Court has denied the Romeike family the chance to be heard at America’s highest court. I do not know exactly where the case will proceed from here, but it would seem their fight in our legal system has ran its course. That could mean the family will soon be deported back to Germany, facing fines and the possibility of losing their children to the state. That would be a tragedy.

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America was founded on several ideals. One of those is that every individual should have freedom of religion. Part of why the Romeike family wants to home school their children is for religious reasons. It seems to me, according to the foundations of America, they should be granted that opportunity. It remains to be seen if the Obama administration will grant them the same chance they have given immigrants who have came to America illegally.

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About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • Mark

    ALL of Congress is complicit in the horrific treatment of this family. Where’s the outrage?

    • I wouldn’t say Congress is complicit. There may not be a lot they can do, especially compared to what the Obama administration has already done for other immigrants.

  • SirPublius

    “Technically, the Romeike family may not meet the legal definition of having been persecuted for religious reasons.” Gee, seems like that is becoming a trend nowadays, isn’t it? Laws are only as good as the people who enforce them. We have so many laws, people can make them say anything they want, and claim these or those persons exempt or in compliance etc., all while ignoring the spirit of a law, and the intent of the law. This administration is one of the state over the individual, and is for uniformity over the individual. It doesn’t sympathize with a family wanting to home school and be different and separate…especially a Christian family. Sounds like a bunch of trouble-makers to me, right? And look at them, don’t they just look like trouble? LOL. Just another disgrace in 2014 America. An administration that believed in individualism would want these people to be truly free, and would want to make a statement to the world to that effect, and have them stay. Instead the statement is, the opposite. The statement is anti-privacy, anti-freedom, and pro-state. Pretty disgusting.

    • It would seem to me the Obama administration has a chance to change the plight of the Romeike family for the good. Instead, they are ignoring them as an afterthought. They would even respond to the petition that has been circulating until ordered to do so by the courts. And even then, the response was more of an official ignoring, than it was a real response. My personal opinion is that they should be allowed to stay in America. President Obama and his team of lawyers could make an exception, should they choose to do so.

  • MarkInIrvine

    Are they self-supporting? What political “oppression” or “persecution” did they suffer in Germany? Was it the refusal of the German state to tolerate their home-schooling? Germany is a pretty educated country – perhaps Germany doesn’t want its citizens to become home-schooled nitwits without a clue as to how to get along in the real world, like so many Americans are choosing these days.

    • SirPublius

      Course you aren’t going to hear anything in the above post about the merits of home-schooling, or how well home-schooled students do relative to traditional students (it’s pretty good…better actually). No facts. Just hatred. “Nitwits”?? And they have no clue how to get along in the real world? I know this is a term the left usually uses, but I gotta say, you kind of just sound like a hater. Your post oozes of it. Pretty unfortunate. And ya, when our educational system is failing like it is today in many places, some people are going to take matters into their own hands. Good for them. Shows they really care. That’s a good thing. A parent teaching their own child? Oh the horror!!! Try and be a bit more open-minded. It’ll serve you well I think.

      • MarkInIrvine

        We in my family know some kids who were home-schooled and they seem to have turned out fine. Some states – like California – have pretty strict rules for home-schooling; I hope that other US states do as well. Be that as it may, most parents are not particularly equipped to teach the variety of subjects that high school education is supposed to cover: chemistry? physics? latin? calculus? i think that normal out-of-home-schooling is in a better position and has better resources for dealing with some subjects.

        My biggest concern is that home-schooling keeps the home-schooled kids separated from the rest of the kids in town. Sure, some of those other kids are doing stuff that we parents disapprove of, but a big part of success in life is learning to interact with other people who are not like us, and in my opinion there is no substitute for the real world, even with all its warts and ugliness and profanity. Parents are (or should be, anyway) perfectly capable to giving their kids “parental guidance” as to the stupid things other kids are doing, so that our own kids can learn to resist the temptations the other kids present and to make good decisions for themselves. What i commonly hear from the home-schooling sector of the population is that it is really keeping one’s kids away from the public that is of greatest interest and concern. That seems wrong to me, but o course each family unit/parent makes that decision for his or her own children.

        • SirPublius

          I think your characterization of home-schooled kids is perhaps based on some false assumptions. I have known a few kids who were home-schooled, and they were normal, and you would never know they were home-schooled if they didn’t tell you. Home-schooled kids are just like any other kids. There are probably some weird ones! Just like any other kids. Too many people think of home-schooling as some kind of CULT thing. Not in the least, with all the resources we have today. I know a LOT of people who are going to school now FROM HOME via online classes. It’s far from the norm, but its getting more popular. These kids do extra-curricular even, just like other kids. But they do the coursework on their schedule. Think of the University of Phoenix for example. You may say, well people doing that have already been to normal school before that, but its not much different in many cases. People going to school online don’t at all do so necessarily at the cost of having a life or having interaction with other people. Not in the least. People who home-school their kids BTW KNOW that their kids are eventually going to hear bad words and be exposed to all sorts of things. They know that, OK. But they want to have more of an influence on their child’s life then just shuffling them off to school all day every day, in some instances…not to judge people who do allow that for their kids. I think its admirable, and again, I’ve known a few people home-schooled, and they were PERFECTLY NORMAL! Some on the left, and they don’t know they are doing it, or wouldn’t characterize it like this, but they have a kind of sick need for uniformity. I see kids getting home-schooled and I personally think its great. Not them though, for the reason just given.

          • MarkInIrvine

            The home-schooled kids I had in mind when posting my comment were kids we got to know from my sons’ Boy Scout Troop … my sons, and the home-schooled kids, all reached their Eagle rank and turned out just fine. One of the home-schooled kids was sort of “weird” as Sir Publius mentions, but weird is more interesting than “just like everybody else”. I’m not exactly sure that the home-schooled kid is doing now – I suspect that he went to college the way most of the kids in the scout troop did … except for the kid who was breaking into cars to steal iPods and cell phones, and who killed himself after he got caught. That was unfortunate for everybody concerned, most of all his parents and him.

        • Our daughters were home schooled. In high school, they did a curriculum out of a school in Pennsylvania, Penn Foster. This curriculum had everything they wanted to study, and then some. Much of it was done online and with handbooks.

          One of our concerns about keeping our daughters at home was some of the things that was going on with our public school system. I wasn’t particularly enamored with letting them mix and mingle with a crowd of children that seemed more intent on who could sleep with who and pushing the homosexual lifestyle, than they were with receiving an education. I am not sorry for that decision, not in the least.

          • MarkInIrvine

            I hope that it all worked out for them; I’m sure it did. My view is that you and they missed the opportunity for what I like to describe as “parental guidance”, that is, the opportunity to talk about what the other kids were doing – your daughters would come home and tell you what some kids were doing, and you would explain what you thought about that and why you thought those other kids were making mistakes. Your daughters also missed the chance to be a positive influence on those kids by telling them that what they were doing wasn’t very smart, or presented serious risks to their health …

    • I don’t expect you to take my word for it, but you have no clue what you are talking about when it comes to homeschooling. Our two daughters were home schooled and they are far from being a “nitwit”. They are getting along in the real world just fine, thank you very much. I could also relate to you the story of a young man who was home schooled and is well on his way to becoming an English professor in college. Not only that, but he is also one of the finest piano players you will ever have the chance to hear. Homeschooling, if it is done properly, is not a bad thing at all. It was much preferable over sending our daughters to the public school system.

      Speaking to the Romeike family’s persecution in Germany, did you not read the post? If you did not, then there is no need for me to reiterate what I have already written. Go back and read the post before you comment again, please.

      • MarkInIrvine

        I re-read the piece, and saw this on the subject of “political persecution”

        “If ever there was evidence of the upside down world of our immigration system, it would be the story of the Romeike family from Germany. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are Christians and because of their Christian beliefs, they decided to home school their children, even though German law does not grant them that right. They felt it important enough that they defied that law and were facing increasingly higher fines and the possibility of losing custody of their children. Because of their strong belief that they should be able to educate their children themselves, they moved to Morristown, TN in 2008. It should be noted that they did so legally and asked for political asylum. They were granted asylum in 2010 by an immigration judge, a decision that was overturned in 2012 by the Board of Immigration Appeals.:”

        This does not seem to me to be “political persecution” or even “religious persecution”: nobody is being incarcerated for speaking out or for practicing her or his religious faith. I’m sure we can find some more deserving Christians in Islamic countries who really are being persecuted and harmed, or more deserving people in China or North Korea. Of all the places in the world in which one might have the good fortune to reside, Germany is light-years ahead of most places, in terms of education, freedom, civilization, social order, and so on.

        In my view, the Romeike parents seem to take their responsibilities as parents seriously and they should be commended for that, no doubt. What horrible things would the kids otherwise be learning if they attended whatever schools are available to them in Germany? Surely there are private and/or religious schools where they could get whatever special attention the parents think the kids need, and surely the parents are (should be capable) of providing the “parental guidance” appropriate to discuss important issues in the home … I don’t see the Romeike family as being particularly persecuted or harmed by whatever Germany thinks they should do.

        The article could explore in greater depth and detail this issue of “persecution” and what the family is really exposed to in Germany.

        • I suppose I could have included more of what the Romeike family was going through. Some of the curriculum in Germany included teaching the children about things that are completely against their Christian beliefs. Witchcraft, homosexuality, etc. Do a little research and you may be surprised at what you discover.

          • MarkInIrvine

            Nothing like the light of day shined on a (weird) practice to take the mystery and attraction away from it.

  • They should have announced they would like to get welfare, food stamps, Obama phones, unemployment and that they plan to vote Democrat. They would have been allowed to stay.
    But seriously, it’s a broken system when people like this are not allowed to stay and the millions of illegals living off our tax dollars are still here.

    • The system is broken, indeed. I have read several comments that declared it was the fault of conservatives because we refuse to allow immigration reform to “fix the system”. My thought is that the current laws should be enforced, but since they are obviously not being enforced, the Romeike family deserves to stay in America, at least as much as the illegal immigrants who are currently being granted a stay of deportation. It shouldn’t be a hard decision to make.

  • rjjrdq

    Wait a minute. Syrian terrorists, illegal aliens and a drunken uncle are okay to stay, but these folks have their asylum overturned? You’re right, this is an upside down world.

  • Apparently their biggest mistake was coming here legally, if they we illegals Obama would bend over backwards for them. We have seen it over and over firsthand.

  • SirPublius
    • That is good news, indeed. I am glad to hear it.

      • SirPublius

        Yep. I’m glad for the Romeike’s. This whole ordeal STILL shows where this administration stands on the issue of freedom from government coercion. This story was only on the fringe’s of right wing media for a long time, and the second it started going mainstream in conservative media and becoming a battle cry did the bureaucrats in this administration make a calculated fold…..but a fold nonetheless. It’s ridiculous that it had to come to this. They’ll haven’t changed their outlook on things like this. That’s for sure. These people never will. Won’t be long till the next time…

    • MarkInIrvine

      Good lord – God had nothing to do with this, any more than God caused them to “suffer” in Germany.

      • I’m not so sure God had nothing to do with the outcome of this ordeal. The Bible does say the heart of the king is in his hands. God can influence anything He wants to influence. Sometimes, it is not to our liking, but God can do whatever He wants to do.

        On the other hand, I’m still trying to find where SirPublius referenced God in his comment.

        • MarkInIrvine

          The Biblical references were contained in the story to which SirPublius linked, here:

          I understand the desire to think that God intervenes personally in our lives to do good things, but I don;t understand the refusal to consider that He must therefore also be responsible for the bad things: either God intervenes to protect and help us or He does not, or He does so for some people but not for others. Way too many horrible things happen to completely innocent people for me to conclude that God does intervene personally in our lives … because if He did, but refuses to protect children, say, or defenseless women, then He is not good. I don;t think that we can have it both ways: God intervenes to do good but does not cause (or prevent) bad. With children starving to death, being hacked to pieces by lunatics with machetes after being brutally raped, I have trouble thinking that a “just” God would intervene to allow this German family to stay in the USA when they, from all appearances, are smart, responsible, capable people who were ding pretty well on their own. Can you explain how or why God would intervene to change the US decision to allow them to stay but not intervene to prevent the rape and murder of children, or the shooting o school kids and their teachers by crazy Americans with guns?

          • The Bible explains that “rain falls on the just and the unjust”. God is able to do whatever he wants to do. There are times He chooses to not intervene in our lives, for better or for worse. Such was the case when God chose to allow my first wife to pass away five days after our daughter was born. I did not understand why it happened, but I accepted it as part of life. In other words, good things happen to good people and bad people. Bad things also happen to good people and bad people.

            The Bible also explains that God’s ways are higher than our ways. We can not see everything like God can. Even if we could, we do not have His understanding. There are times when God allows the evil influences that are in this world to have their way and to run their course. I’m not saying I understand why He does, but I accept that as part of living in this world.

            • MarkInIrvine

              I understand that this is what you believe. I do not believe that God intervenes personally in life on earth – does God really bother to count the number of hairs on my head? Why? Does God really decide that the cat next door to me is going to have 35 fleas today rather than 36? The physical universe – with gravity, the laws of physics, thermodynamics, the “laws of chance” and everything else determine most of what happens on earth. To the extent that God created gravity, the laws of physics, thermodynamics, the “laws of chance” and everything else, then yes, “God decides what happens”. I agree that there is no understanding of why (so many) things are the way they are – our lack of understanding does not mean, however, that ‘God’s Plan” is present in every little event that occurs (like the 35 or 36 fleas, or whether i have more grey hair at my left temple than at my right temple). I do not mean any disrespect, but I also do not think that God intended me not to use the brains God gave me!

              • God lets nature take its course much of the time. There are some instances when He does intervene. I do not claim to understand His ways or how He chooses when and where to do so, but I do believe He has a purpose in everything He does.

      • SirPublius

        Mark, just as an FYI, the only reason I posted that link was to show that it was finally determined that they could stay. That’s IT! So, I guess I didn’t give any context, just a link, so it left my intentions for posting it up in the air I guess. It was a Facebook link I came across, and it was pertinent to the discussion. Geez. Or in your words, “Good lord”!

        • MarkInIrvine

          God Lord! Ha ha ha!! I was just commenting on a statement made in the story, and not meaning to challenge you for the fact that the story contained that statement! Good Lord! Ha ha ha!! Peace be with you and yours!

      • SirPublius

        Mark, you say “God had nothing to do with this…”. That’s your opinion, and your belief about God and how God, if you believe in him, operates. And you are entitled to it. But stating manner-of-factly, that “God had nothing to do with this”, the reaction you had, seemed a little over the top, and I do wonder why you took such issue with the brief mention of giving thanks to God for this result? Did you perhaps not like the result of them being able to stay, and so you took offense, thinking “Who are they to think God is on THEIR side? How ridiculous”.

        I’ve heard other people state as much about God interceding in things, and really, that’s your opinion, and that’s just fine, BUT, just so you know, and if you DID know this, I have trouble thinking you would take issue with it like you just did: many religious people, perhaps most, simply give thanks to God any time anything good happens to them, and they credit it to him, since it is their belief that all blessings are from God. That really doesn’t mean, though some people DO absolutely believe this, that they believe God is actively pulling every little string at all times and that no one has any free will and everything is predetermined. That’s not what they are saying by thanking God like they do.

        It’s like a football player thanking God for a win. They really are just thanking God for what they have, and the blessings they have been given, and their talents and abilities etc. It usually DOESN’T mean they believe God personally interceded in the game and made them win, though many many people take it that way for some reason and misunderstand such statements, and this is the way it SEEMS you took the statement in that article. That’s not the way people usually mean it when they say things like, and I will quote the statement in this article, “This is an incredible victory that can only be credited to our Almighty God”. Let me shorten that sentence up for you. What that statement is really saying is “all glory be to God”. That’s what it means, usually, though in this case I am not a mind-reader. Just so you know.

        And as far as the Proverbs verse in the article, at least for me, it is simply a verse demonstrating how God is in control. No, it doesn’t mean he’s necessarily micro-managing everything, but nonetheless, that God is in control. Just my opinion and my perspective on it. Don’t want to make such a huge deal about this, but I enjoy sharing my thoughts on things like this.

        • MarkInIrvine

          Believe it or don’t, but I believe in God and “give thanks” just about every day for all the good things in my life. I keep asking God, however, to explain all the horrible things that happen to people who cannot possibly deserve it, and to explain all the crap that really bad people get away with, every day. I get no answer (except from other humans who insist that “God works in mysterious ways, we can’t understand”, and so on). If we really are created in God’s image and likeness, then wanting/needing explanations cannot be wrong and using the brains God gave me to question cannot be wrong. I think that it is idiotic, insane and simple-minded (willfully superstitious and credulous) to “thank God for winning the football game”, when babies are starving to death in Africa through no fault of their own. There is just too much in this world (which is a pretty amazing place in so many countless ways) that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever for me to think that God gives a crap about the number of hairs on my head, the number of fleas on the neighbor’s cat, or whether my high school wins the football game against the traditional cross-town rival. If “the Creator of heaven and earth and of all that is seen and unseen” does ANYTHING about the stupid football game and NOTHING at all to stop kids from starving and being raped and tortured, then this “creator” is a monster and not the God of love. I believe, but I question, as God made me to do.

          Peace to you all.

          • MarkInIrvine

            … and I believe that it is basically obscene to thank God for letting the football team win, or letting the German family stay in the USA, and – assuming that God really does intervene in the lives of individual human beings – to not demand an explanation from God of why he seemingly does nothing to stop children from starving and being raped and tortured and killed. In these circumstances, thanking God for the football win is the pinnacle of human arrogance and pride and greed, as though God cares so much about “me” that He would have anything to do with the football win while letting the kids starve, etc.

            Of course, the whole screwed-up mess is understandable if this “God” whom so may claim to know and understand and worship is really a psychotic, sociopathic madman like Saddam Hussein, who just toys with mankind as some plaything of no consequence or value or worth at all.

            • I do not believe God cares one whit about who wins a football game. There are times, however, when He is moved by the prayers of His people. I know you do not believe this, but God does hear when we cry to Him and He does intervene, at times.

              As for God toying with mankind, He does not do that. He gave every one of us the free will to do as we please. it is up to us whether we serve Him in the way He desires. I also believe we are of great consequence to God. After all, we were created in His own image and He sent Jesus, His only Son, to die on the cross for our sins. Would He do that for someone who was of no consequence to Him?

        • MarkInIrvine

          God can’t both “be in control” and also not do anything about all the horrible stuff that occurs to humanity.