September 10 2013
Want Asylum? Better Know the Password—Oh, and Don’t Homeschool Your Kids
Vicki E. Alger
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials certainly have their hands full these days. As FoxNews.com reports:
A sudden influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico requesting asylum is overwhelming immigration agents in San Diego, forcing agencies to rent hotel rooms for some undocumented families and release others to cities around the U.S.
… Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been paying for hotel rooms for dozens of recently arrived families to relieve overcrowding inside the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa, Calif., processing centers. Some ICE employees are working overtime and others have been asked to volunteer to work weekend shifts. 'Duties include intake, placements, transports and release of family groups and unaccompanied minors…'
The surge has raised suspicions about what is driving the influx, amid claims that illegal immigrants have learned they can attempt to get asylum by using a few key words -- namely, by claiming they have a 'credible fear' of drug cartels.
‘This clearly has to have been orchestrated by somebody,’ said former U.S. Attorney for Southern California Peter Nunez. ‘It's beyond belief that dozens or hundreds or thousands of people would simultaneously decide that they should go to the U.S. and make this claim.’
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike’s asylum experience was very different.
They and their five children fled Germany because they had taken their eldest out of school for educational and religious reasons. Homeschooling has been illegal in Germany since 1918. Worried the state would remove all of their children, the family moved to Tennessee in 2008 and were granted asylum in 2010.
This is a valid fear. Less than two weeks ago Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, who live outside of Frankfurt, had a SWAT team consisting of police, special agents, and social workers raid their house and remove their four children ages 7-14 because they were homeschooled.
Apparently ICE officials had a lot more free time on their hands last year because they successfully challenged the Romeike’s asylum decision in 2012, and the Obama administration’s Department of Justice backed them up.
It’s worth remembering that in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the “liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children.”
Apparently Attorney General Eric Holder missed the memo. In its June 26 brief to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Department of Justice insisted, “Teaching tolerance to children of all backgrounds helps to develop the ability to interact as a fully functioning citizen of Germany” (p. 8).
So apparently our DOJ believes that homeschooling is the height of intolerance, but forcibly removing children from their parents because they don’t attend compulsory government-run schools promotes "functioning" citizens.