UPDATE: After trashing the Obama administration, Farris announced today that “a Supervisor with the Department of Homeland Security called a member of our legal team to inform us that the Romeike family has been granted ‘indefinite deferred status.'”
Fox News commentator Todd Starnes is furious that the Romeike family, a family that left Germany for Tennessee over disagreements with German homeschooling laws, has lost its petition for asylum. And of course, Starnes and Michael Farris, who has been representing the Romeike family, blame President Obama.
The Supreme Court yesterday denied an appeal by the Romeikes of a Board of Immigration Appeals ruling that found that they are not eligible for asylum.
The Sixth Circuit ruled against the Romeike’s petition last year, with Judge Jeffrey Sutton — a George W. Bush appointee — finding that “the German authorities have not singled out the Romeikes in particular or homeschoolers in general for persecution.” Conservative legal commentator Eugene Volokh notes that a ruling in favor of the Romeike family would effectively give asylum to anyone who disagreed with their home countries’ laws.
But Farris isn’t having any of it, claiming that the Obama administration seeks “to crush religious freedom” and would have deported the pilgrims: “Had this administration been waiting at Plymouth Rock, they would’ve told the Pilgrims to go back home.”
Starnes, meanwhile, seems to think that undocumented immigrants in America, unlike the Romeike clan, do not want legal status in the US: “There are nearly 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. You’d think the Obama administration could find a place [sic] eight immigrants who want to live here legally.”
“I think this is a part of the Obama administration’s overall campaign to crush religious freedom in this country,” said Michael Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. His organization is representing family.
“The Obama administration’s attitude toward religious freedom, particularly religious freedom for Christians is shocking,” he told me in an exclusive telephone interview. “I have little doubt that if this family had been of some other faith that the decision would have never been appealed in the first place. They would have let this family stay.”
Had the family stayed in Germany, where homeschooling is illegal, they would have faced the prospect of losing their children. Like the Pilgrims, they fled their homeland yearning for a place where they could be free.
Farris said the religious bias perpetrated by the Obama administration is “palpable.”
“It’s a denial of the essence of America,” he said. “The Pilgrims left England to go to Holland to seek religious freedom. They came here to seek religious freedom and parental rights for their children. Had this administration been waiting at Plymouth Rock, they would’ve told the Pilgrims to go back home.”
There are nearly 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. You’d think the Obama administration could find a place eight immigrants who want to live here legally.
Farris said the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case sends a chilling message to Americans who currently home school their children.
“This administration thinks it’s a privilege to home school – not a right,” he told me. “We’d better buckle down and be ready to fight them every step of the way.”
Please, Mr. President, have mercy on this Christian family. They came to our shores longing to be free. They left their homeland to escape religious persecution. Please, sir. Welcome them to our land with open arms. Bestow upon them a small measure of grace so they might be able to raise their children in the land of the free, the home of the brave.