US Representatives Asking for Legislative Problems

Concerns have been put out there in the aftermath of the Romeike family’s asylum pursuit from Germany.  An Indiana US Representative passed along his concerns and his previous statements opposing the Obama administration interference.

From Indiana’s Journal Gazette:

Stutzman cites family in home-school case
By Brian Francisco

In demanding asylum Monday for a German home-schooling family, U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman said he and his wife have been home schooling their own two sons.

Stutzman, R-3rd, called for the Obama administration to intervene on behalf of the Romeike family after the Supreme Court declined to hear their appeal of an immigration ruling that denied them asylum.

A homeschooler since last May, Representative Stutzman issued a press release last year noting this below in the letter sent to Eric Holder and signed by Stutzman and 26 other Congress members:

As you are aware, the courts have upheld a common-sense commitment to educational freedom.  The Supreme Court’s decision, Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925), held that the right of parents to “direct the education and upbringing” of their children is a fundamental right.
In Germany, the Romeike family experienced persecution for exercising this fundamental right and, on one occasion, officials forcibly removed Uwe and Hannalore’s children from their home. As the family faces multiple fines in their homeland, it is little wonder that they have sought refuge in the United States.
We believe that U.S. Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman reached the correct decision on January 26, 2010 when he granted the Romeike family asylum after finding that they had a well-founded fear of persecution because of their membership in the particular social group of “homeschoolers in Germany” and because Germany’s ban on homeschooling frustrated their religious convictions.
Under U.S. law, asylum should be granted to those experiencing persecution aimed at members of a “particular social group,” which possesses an “immutable” characteristic that either cannot or should not be required to be changed. We agree with Judge Burman that German homeschoolers are a particular social group who are being persecuted by their government. Although parents can change their minds about homeschooling, no parent in a free nation should be forced by the state to make that decision.
It is worth noting that the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UNDHR), which recognizes that parents have a “prior right” over the government to choose the kind of education their children will have. Other international covenants to which Germany is a party, including the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), explicitly protect the rights of parents to direct their child’s education.
We ask that, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(A), you exercise the authority given to you by Congress to grant asylum to the Romeike family. The legal standard in Section 1101(a) for eligibility for asylum is a “well-founded fear of future persecution on account of membership in a particular social group.” That is exactly what Judge Burman found in his 2010 opinion, upon reviewing the facts of the case and the German government’s official position on homeschooling.

 

With all that said, why do we need new laws to “protect us”?  Piling law upon law on top of each other doesn’t seem to be working so well in this country.  With due respect to Representative Stutzman, whom I know nothing about except he’s in Indiana, is homeschooling “for a time”, and signed this letter – shouldn’t we remember Congress’ approval rating?  87% of Americans are sorely disappointed.  Seems like a good plan would be no plan with this current scenario.

Congressman Stutzman was joined in signing this letter to the Attorney General by: Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Steve Daines (R-MT), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Luke Messer (R-IN), Jeff Miller (R-FL), Alan Nunnelee (R-MS), Stevan Pearce (R-NM), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Bill Posey (R-FL), Phil Roe (R-TN), Todd Rokita (R-IN), Steve Scalise (R-LA), Steve Southerland (R-FL), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Lee Terry (R-NE), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), and Daniel Webster (R-FL).

For Illinois folks, please note Rep. Randy Hultgren also signed this letter and he should be asked if he is one of the “friendly” legislators HSLDA is lobbying to introduce “home school” legislation.  More importantly, we should know if he supports “home school” legislation when his Illinois family’s protections in homeschooling come from our private school status and umbrella coverage from such.

Good deeds for one family can come easily undone for all the rest of us.


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