The Romeikes - German Christian homeschooling family

I got into a FB debate about this. A friend linked to this story that claims that Obama is trying to help persecute this family just because they are Christian. I pointed out that this was a SCOTUS decision and Obama has no influence over SCOTUS. We went back and forth about the definition of “persecution” (she is the type that feels like Christians are being persecuted disproportionately, especially in the US.) and whether or not sending their kids to public schools prevented them from exercising their religious freedom.

Today she linked to this story about DHS allowing them to stay. I started to point out to her that Obama has way more control over DHS than he does SCOTUS, but this article claims

I’m mainly asking about how much involvement Obama and/or his administration had in any part of this.

However, I don’t want to try to prohibit debate about the SCOTUS decision or any other part of this story, so I’m putting it in GD, where it probably would have ended up anyway.

Sorry if this is a dupe thread: I did a search for Romeike, thinking any discussion of this would have their name in it.

I’ve followed this case closely; here you go:

It was some official in the Department of Homeland Security somewhere that decided to appeal the initial grant of asylum. That puts the decision squarely under the executive branch.

I doubt Obama had any personal involvement in the decision to appeal. But saying he is not responsible is tantamount to arguing that the buck doesn’t stop with Obama.

Read the article linked in the above post. Right To Homeschool is not one of the basic human rights. There are religious schools in Germany–but they are not good enough for this family. They could easily move to another nation in the EU & homeschool all they want. But they are being sponsored by US forces who want homeschoolers to feel persecuted by the US. They aren’t.

Or the immigration laws could be simplified. But the Republicans are preventing immigration reform…

There’s nothing wrong with this appeal. Obama has done nothing wrong.

Truth to be told, German authorities take a heavy-handed approach towards families like the Romeikes. I’m glad they are allowed to stay in the United States.

That is not a standard that refugee and asylum claims are to be held to.

If an applicant for asylum status leaves his/her home country and is granted entry to a third country while enroute to the United States then US law permits denying the application if the application could have been made in the transiting country.

But if applicant for asylum status leaves his/her home country and directly enters the United States then US law requires that the application be evaluated on its merits. It cannot be turned down by asking “but why didn’t you go to another country?” It can be turned down if the applicant could have moved within his own country to escape the feared persecution.

Regardless of the motivations of the legal groups supporting the family, an asylum claim to remain in the US is based only upon a well founded fear of persecution in the home country and has nothing to do with whether the applicant feels persecution in the Unites States.

I argue simply that, whether the appeal was right or wrong, it was certainly the act of the executive branch of the Obama administration. The buck stops on his desk.

And I hope that the President prioritizes his time better than messing around on individual asylum cases of which there is a backlog that he personally could not clear if he worked 24/7. Mao on a pogo stick, he’s the Pres of the US of A. I hope he’s working on some big important things. YMMV obviously.

Yes. He’s politically responsible for all the acts of the executive department. But that is not much support for the claim referred to in the OP that he is trying to persecute the family because they are Christians.

I don’t see any problem here. The Extreme Homeschooling Advocates can continue to feel martyred, even though the ruling changed. The Fishie Christians can continue to feel persecuted, because they enjoy that. And if the German family now has permission to stay–although they could have moved to another EU country & homeschooled their little darlings all they liked. However, the dad supports the family as a part-time piano teacher–and the subsidy he gets from the Extreme Homeschoolers here. Which he wouldn’t get in Europe…

I wish we had adopted a German approach to homeschooling, I don’t believe parents should be allowed to homeschool their children at all. I think it’s farcical that housewives and such could adequately educate their children and the oversight of the child’s academic progress is minimal in comparison to a public school or accredited private school.

And yet homeschooled students score as well or better than those in public schools.


I don’t find that at all interesting or meaningful. It can easily be explained by selection effects. The relevant question is whether homeschooled students score as well as they would if they were in public schools.

N.B. I think homeschooling should probably be legal, but I generally disapprove of it.

Homeschooled students are overwhelmingly white, middle- to upper-middle-class, from two-parent homes in the suburbs/exurbs, and more than half have a stay-at-home parent. Compare their statistics to public school students with the same demographics, and the score differences are negligible at best.

Now when you compare students from these nice stable backgrounds to the foster kid who’s been bounced around a dozen schools in the inner city, well, the homeschooler usually does a lot better, but then you aren’t really comparing apples and oranges either.

You can’t paint with such broad strokes. My sister home-schooled her daughter. She ( my sister) has a Ph.D. in molecular biology. Her husband is a high school science teacher. They are more than qualified to teach their daughter at home. In fact, my niece, who is now 19 years old, is now a math major in college. (She’s also the most socially outgoing, confident person I’ve ever met.)

And, in America at least, many are taught creationist nonsense and have social skills that make Forrest Gump look like the Connery-Bond.

I’d expect a typical housewife to be able to deliver a much better education than a typical public school teacher.

Really? Would you expect a person chosen at random to be better at any job than a trained, experienced professional, or is it that you believe that teachers, uniquely, are deliberately hired for their incompetence, and/or specifically trained to make them more incompetent than they would be otherwise?

What a peculiar world you must live in.

Perhaps we should require those who would teach their children at home to pass some sort of examination.
I would think that the social experience of school-having your lunch money stolen, for example-is important to growing up.
I do not speak of your relatives, but the wealthy need no social experience, since they are spared from associating with common, normal people. :dubious: :smack:

I should add that I’m not just opposed to it because of most parents not being qualified, but because I also do not believe I want a society in which parents can so strictly limit what their children learn or the viewpoints they hear. Homeschooling allows for both, it also allows the parent to limit whatever diversity might be in the local public schools from intruding on their lifestyle.

Now, are there home schooled parents who are both well qualified to teach their kids and who also make sure they get exposed to a diversity of views and opinions? I’m sure. But the lack of effective means of checking for this mean I’m not willing to throw out 10 kids for every 1 kid who fits into that ideal situation for homeschooling. Homeschooling is a bad idea long past its time.