The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected the final appeal of a German homeschooling family seeking asylum in the United States. Germany requires children to attend state-approved schools, public or private. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are Christians and believe state-approved schools in Germany would have a bad influence on their seven children.
The parents, facing thousands of dollars in fines for homeschooling and the possibility that they would lose custody of their children, fled to the United States in 2008. After initially winning asylum before an immigration judge, they lost at every step of the legal process and now have no more legal options in the United States. Michael Farris, the lawyer from the Home School Legal Defense Association representing the family, said the group would pursue legislation in Congress to allow the family to stay. But, most likely, the Romeikes will be deported.
The Supreme Court, consistent with its normal practice, gave no explanation for rejecting the case. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected the family’s asylum plea last year, said the Romeikes had not faced “persecution” because the regulations about mandatory school attendance apply to everyone. “The German authorities have not singled out the Romeikes in particular or homeschoolers in general for persecution,” the court wrote.
The case doesn’t have implications for homeschoolers in the United States, but makes clear that U.S. immigration authorities don't consider homeschooling a fundamental human right that merits asylum.