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The Irony is Powerful with this one

Via Todd Starnes at Fox News Radio:  Obama Admin Wants to Deport Christian Home School Family

The Romeike family fled their German homeland in 2008 seeking political asylum in the United States – where they hoped to home school their children. Instead, the Obama administration wants the evangelical Christian family deported.

The fate of Uwe and Hannelore Romeike – along with their six children – now rests with the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2010 an immigration judge granted the family political refuge, but the  Dept. of Homeland Security objected and argued they don’t deserve asylum.

[...]

The fear of persecution is why an immigration judge granted the family political asylum in 2010.

German authorities demanded the family stop home schooling. They faced thousands of dollars in fines and they initially took away their children in a police van.

German state constitutions require children attend public schools. Parents who don’t comply face punishment ranging from fines to prison time. The nation’s highest appellate court ruled in 2007 that in some cases children could be removed from their parents’ care.

[...]

[Michael] Farris [founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association] said Americans should be outraged over the way the Obama administration has treated the Romeike family – and warned it could have repercussions for families that home school in this nation.

To start with the last first, there is no way this case has any impact whatsoever on home schooling in the US.

But to the main point:  this is our immigration system, and it is one that is copious and difficult and does not take into consideration whether a family appears to be nice and potentially productive (which is the impression given about the Romeike family, even if it is not proven, but I am assuming the best possible facts for the sake of argument).  We have to remember that our current system will deport a person who has been in this country, albeit illegally, since they were a baby and send them back to a country that they do not know, because, well, you can’t reward all that bad behavior, now can you?  Note that the whole purpose of the DREAM Act is to find a path to residency and/or citizens for such persons.  However, this is legislation that we apparently cannot even get to a vote.

Beyond that, the process to obtain legal residency in the US is arduous and can take over a decade. See, for illustration (literally), this.  Of the things to be outraged about concerning our immigration laws, the fact that a clearly middle class family will be forced to return to live in one of the richest countries in world (with the main penalty the requirement to attend public schools) is well, well down the list.   Just because the Romeike family is white and Christian should not be a reason for outrage (however, the Christian part is the clear source of outrage here).

I do not know what Todd Starnes’ views are on immigration, but the tone of the piece adn a perusal of his blog suggests that he is unlikely to be an advocate for immigration reform.

I must confess:  I read it twice before deciding that it wasn’t an attempt at Onionesque satire.

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Your first mistake was taking Todd Starnes seriously, even as a satirist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  2. @Doug Mataconis: I must confess: I am utterly unfamiliar with the fellow in question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  3. michael reynolds says:

    Just because the Romeike family is white and Christian should not be a reason for outrage (however, the Christian part is the clear source of outrage here).

    Nah, it’s also very much the white thing. Mexicans and Hondurans and Haitians are Christians. They’re just the wrong shade of Christian.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 3

  4. @michael reynolds: There is that, of course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  5. Septimius says:

    I, too, find this very ironic. All of the left-wing immigrant rights groups that advocate open borders, lecture us that no human being is illegal, and rush to help illegal immigrants fight deportation (even those with serious criminal records) don’t seem to have too much to say about this family. Very ironic, indeed.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 21

  6. michael reynolds says:

    @Septimius:

    Actually, no. Because we would happily treat this family with compassion if the law allowed it. We are trying to change the law for that very reason. I don’t want these people deported. I also don’t want the guys standing outside the Home Depot deported. Let’s all come together and change the law. Ready to kumbaya with me? No?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 3

  7. @Septimius: I take it, then, that you are just commenting on the headline.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  8. Septimius says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Let’s get this straight. This family is not in the U.S. illegally. They didn’t cross the border illegally. They came through customs and had their passports stamped and the government knew exactly who they were. They didn’t overstay their tourist visas and get under the table jobs and live in the “shadows.” They followed the rules and applied for asylum based on religious persecution. Asylum was granted. That’s the way the process is supposed to work.

    And, we should be outraged that a family that followed the rules and legally emigrated to the U.S. is in danger of deportation by the same administration that wants to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 23

  9. MattT says:

    Michael Reynolds has said everything I meant to say, and better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  10. Argon says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Poe’s law, illustrated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  11. GoBlue77 says:

    I must confess:  I read it twice before deciding that it wasn’t an attempt at Onionesque satire.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  12. GoBlue77 says:

    bah, slow pony

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  13. Franklin says:

    @Septimius: “Asylum was granted.”

    You forgot the next part, where their asylum status is debatable.

    /you’re welcome

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  14. @Septimius: The problem is, they were not granted permanent asylum as best as I can tell, because upon review it was deemed that their claim of persecution did not fit the law. I cannot find an exact statement as to how the review was triggered,

    The bottom line is that they did not legally immigrate and then are being asked to leave. Indeed, you reveal a lack of understanding about how hard it is to move to the US, even if one is likely to be a contributing member of society.

    They need a special dispensation to stay–that’s the whole point. If they were to “get in line” and do it legally and without special privileges, they would need years. This is ultimately the whole point: to let a family like this to stay requires either very specific circumstances, or special dispensation.

    That’s the nature of out immigration system. And I find it to be problematic regardless of who it is that is caught up in it.

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  15. C. Clavin says:

    The hypocrisy is at once comical and awe inspiring.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  16. Septimius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    So, this family jumped the line by legally applying for (and getting) asylum, but we need to pass the DREAM Act so that people that entered the country illegally can get a path to residency/citizenship. Got it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 17

  17. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Obtustimus: Can you read bro? UPON LEGAL REVIEW, THEY DON’T QUALITY FOR ASYLUM. The law is the law–out with them. We don’t need illegals here taking jobs Americans could be doing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 5

  18. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Mexicans and Hondurans and Haitians are Christians. They’re just the wrong shade of Christian.

    No, they’re also the wrong sort of Christian. They’re Catholic, which to many evangelical and other Protestants isn’t Christian at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  19. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Rafer Janders: Well, there’s that problem, too. Wrong shade, wrong flavor, what’s left to make the trifecta? Wrong economic status?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  20. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: yeah, but they’re educated and might vote that way- so they may not vote for democrats!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 16

  21. YoMama says:

    @Pharoah Narim:
    Of course that would also include Obama’s relatives too, right? Auntie Zeituni and Uncle Onyango. They’ve been here illegally for *decades*.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  22. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    MR,

    So your solution to immigration is to have the quality of life decline until there is no differences between Mexico and the U.S.

    If you had to choose between a Nordic-like social safety net or the free movement of people between countries which would you choose. And no, it is impossible to have both.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 13

  23. Dobby says:

    You know what? I hope these Germans – and all of the conservatives who are in their corner – get what they asked for. Because the second the Sixth Circuit rules in their favor I am going to start counseling people from other countries that make homeschooling illegal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeschooling_international_status_and_statistics#Homeschooling_status_tables) to apply for asylum. Do Septimius, Bill and superdestroyer see that handy-dandy chart? El Salvador, Guatemala, Brazil — those folks will be thrilled to know they have a quick path to citizenship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  24. superdestroyer says:

    @Dobby:

    You are just confirming what many of the right believe about how progressives really want the open borders and the free movement of people between countries. Is there any sad story that you would keep out of the U.S. ?

    Also, the way social conservatives are talking about this issue, it should be apparent that too few of them are capable of long term thinking. Why correct another route of asylum that every grifter in the world can use?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @bill:

    yeah, but they’re educated and might vote that way- so they may not vote for democrats!

    Unlike you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  26. LaMont says:

    @bill:

    Sorry Bill but you arre dead wrong. It doesn’t take much research to find that a significant subset of people that vote republican are some of the most misinformed and uneducated people in this country while people who vote democratic tend to be more educated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  27. matt bernius says:

    @Septimius:

    And, we should be outraged that a family that followed the rules and legally emigrated to the U.S. is in danger of deportation by the same administration that wants to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

    First, in many, if not the majority of cases, the Government usually fights an initial granting of Asylum. Especially in recent years. Generally speaking the bar has gone up on this (and note that the immigration courts are an entirely different wing of the government than the “administration”).

    Second, as @Dobby= points out, part of the reason for this is that it has HUGE ramifications in terms of asylum seekers. It would greatly extend what is considered religious persecution and open up the flood gates, at a minimum, to people from any country that doesn’t allow home schooling.

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The problem is, they were not granted permanent asylum as best as I can tell, because upon review it was deemed that their claim of persecution did not fit the law. …The bottom line is that they did not legally immigrate and then are being asked to leave.

    Actually, it’s more complex than that (links to follow in the next post). They did do everything legally. The family came to the US as tourists and then filed for asylum, which automatically extends their stay while the paperwork was being processed. And they were initially granted legal asylum by an immigration judge. That decision is being appealed by the administration (due to its rather significant policy implications). While that appeal (and subsequent appeals) are going through the system, they are still here legally.

    So comparing them to “illegals” is a stretch.

    However, a few additional notes about the case to add some more context. This entire thing has been orchestrated/sponsored by a US based Home Schooling/Christian NGO. The choice of where the family would file for amnesty (Memphis, TN) was, also, carefully chosen in order to get the most favorable result. So, pretending that this is a simple refugee/asylum cases is a bit disingenuous.

    Further, I have to wonder how supportive Mr Starnes would be if, instead of evangelical Christians, this was a Muslim family who “fled” Germany after they had begun to homeschool their children because the public, private and Religious schools (and yes, note that there are Christian Education schools that the Romeike family could have sent their children to) were far to *liberal.*

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  28. matt bernius says:

    Here are three good articles for understanding this case:
    #1 – NYT article from when the initial decision was handed down.
    #2 – PDF Law review article which provides an excellent summary of the case (and then delves into one of the specific issues at play)
    #3 – William Jackobson’s Summary of the Case – Provides links to all the pertinent source documents and highlights the legal issues each side is raising.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  29. Septimius says:

    @matt bernius:
    I can understand the argument that we don’t want to open the floodgates of political asylum for German nationals (or from other countries that generally respect fundamental human rights). I also think it begs a more serious question. Is there a fundamental human right to decide how to educate your children? Apparently, the Obama administration thinks not.

    But, as I pointed out, and I think you agree, this family entered the country legally and applied for asylum in the proper manner. Asylum was granted. Everything that has happened since has been at the discretion of the Administration. The Justice Department wasn’t forced to appeal the ruling that granted asylum. This is not some inherent flaw in our immigration system as Steven L. Taylor claims.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  30. Bart Wallace says:

    michael reynolds says:
    Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 18:27
    Just because the Romeike family is white and Christian should not be a reason for outrage (however, the Christian part is the clear source of outrage here).

    Nah, it’s also very much the white thing. Mexicans and Hondurans and Haitians are Christians. They’re just the wrong shade of Christian.

    Yes this shows a shallow understanding of how Christians think. I am not sure of how familiar you are with Evangelicals but they are not that fond of or concerned with Catholics and even mainstream Protestants. But since these people are pretty evangelical and seeking to homeschool their kids in the Christian faith they perceive them not being able to do so as an assault on Christian homeschooling and their brand of Christianity altogether. So Dr. Taylor was right it is not the skin colour per say but it is the Christian that has them riled up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  31. matt bernius says:

    @Septimius:

    The Justice Department wasn’t forced to appeal the ruling that granted asylum.

    Your right, they weren’t “forced.” However, Justice Lawrence O. Burman’s initial ruling, granting Asylum, has HUGE policy ramifications. It can be seen as radically expanding an understanding of “religious persecution” and what constitutes a “cognizable social group.”

    Both have significant and potentially far reaching ramifications — well beyond opening the floodgates for German Nationals. At a minimum, this will apply to any country that doesn’t allow home schooling. I’d argue that it goes much further than that…

    Given the far reaching implications, its standard policy — regardless of the Administration in power — to appeal this sort of decision. I can all but guarantee the same thing would have happened under GWB or any other Republican president.

    I agree, this isn’t, as @Steven L. Taylor originally suggested, about immigration and shouldn’t be used to point out “conservative hypocrisy” around that issue.

    However, beyond my open question about how sympathetic they’d be if this was a family of staunch Muslims, I think this is pretty clearly a case of *Judicial Activism.*

    The Home School Legal Defense Association, pretty clearly, chose a court where they would be most likely to get a judge who was sympathetic to their argument. The result is a ruling that essentially overwrites existing legislative policies (something that last I checked, Conservatives used to get up in arms about). But as with most cases of Judicial Activism, folks typically don’t care when it’s in support of their side.

    Either way, regardless of outcome, this case will be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. And I suspect, there’s a pretty good chance it might get heard there due to the issues involved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  32. matt bernius says:

    @Septimius:

    Is there a fundamental human right to decide how to educate your children? Apparently, the Obama administration thinks not.

    Actually, I’d suggest that the longstanding policy of the United States (or at least it’s composite states) is that there is no fundamental human right to decide how to educate your children.

    Please find a State that allows a family to completely opt out of the education system. Homeschooling programs are regulated to meet State standards.

    If there was a fundamental human right (as you suggest), then that would have to include the right to choose not to educate your children at all — i.e. opt completely out of the process — without any repercussion. As far as I know, that’s legally allowed anywhere in the US.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  33. @matt bernius: For clarification: I am not saying that this family’s entry was illegal. However, I am underscoring the fact that entering the US legally is not that difficult. It is the staying that creates the difficulties. In this sense the basic conundrum for any immigrant wishing to stay is quite similar.

    It is worth noting that, as I think I said above (but may have said on an FB thread): a substantial proportion of “illegal immigrants” are visa overs-stayers (I want to say roughly half, but my mempry may be off).

    (And yes: the counter-scenario of the Muslim, home-schooling family fleeing Germany struck me as well. Given the content of the blog this came from, I expect that this would not have caused the same outrage).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  34. @matt bernius:

    I agree, this isn’t, as @Steven L. Taylor originally suggested, about immigration and shouldn’t be used to point out “conservative hypocrisy” around that issue.

    Clearly, I disagree: getting up in arms about a white, evangelical family who might be deported and not getting equally up in arms about, say an hispanic teenager being deported after living in the country since she was a toddler (and there are countless such stories) strike me as hypocritical.

    But, perhaps I am missing your point?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  35. matt bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    In this sense the basic conundrum for any immigrant wishing to stay is quite similar. It is worth noting that, as I think I said above (but may have said on an FB thread): a substantial proportion of “illegal immigrants” are visa overs-stayers (I want to say roughly half, but my mempry may be off).

    You are correct: substantial proportion of “illegal immigrants” are visa overs-stayers.

    However, this case has nothing to do with overstaying a visa. And won’t, unless the Romeike family loses all appeals and then chooses to stay in the US as an act of protest.

    Once they filed for asylum, the clock was stopped on their visas. Once the asylum was granted, the issue of the clock went away. If they lose on appeal, the visa clock starts up again (or they are given a specific time frame to leave the country). However, if they appeal and the courts agree to hear it, the clock pauses again. But at no point during that process are they ever here “illegally.”

    That’s a different situation than, say, someone who overstays their visa and *then* files for asylum (though the general framework remains the same).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. @matt bernius: Yes, I do understand the basic dynamic, My point is: the only way they are going to be allowed to stay is via a special dispensation (asylum), which, as has been noted, is hardly guaranteed (and is frequently denied to many others).

    As such, my most fundamental points stands: it is the staying in the country, regardless of why you want to be here, is the difficulty. (and, in general, the reasons boil down to wanting a better life for one’s family).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  37. matt bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    getting up in arms about a white, evangelical family who might be deported and not getting equally up in arms about, say an hispanic teenager being deported after living in the country since she was a toddler (and there are countless such stories) strike me as hypocritical.

    But, perhaps I am missing your point?

    You are (missing my point — though I am also looking at this in a slightly different way).

    The core of the outrage is primarily about perceived Liberal attacks on Christianity. Conservatives clearly feel that (liberal) Germany’s ban on home schooling (again, note not RELIGIOUS or PRIVATE EDUCATION — both are legal and were available to the Romeike family) constitutes religious persecution. And, the response by the Justice department iss the usual outrage that Obama hates religion (read that really as Christianity) and that’s why the government is fighting this. (see @Septimius’ response).

    What I will grant you, is that the expression of this outrage — i.e. The Administration is fighting to keep (bad) illegals in, while fighting to keep these (good) Christians out … again see Septimius’ responses — is fundamentally couched in the broader immigration dynamics you’re discussing.

    But I don’t see immigration as being at the heart of this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. @matt bernius: But isn’t the bottom line “they have a good reason, so they should be allowed to stay”?

    Ultimately, that’s what the whole immigration debate is about: who should be allowed in and who should be allowed to stay (and why).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  39. matt bernius says:

    @Steven Taylor:

    But isn’t the bottom line “they have a good reason, so they should be allowed to stay”?

    Agreed on that point and your latter one.

    I guess my point was that the specifics of this case fall outside most of the usual right-wing-media talking points about immigration — with the notable exception that the initial ruling greatly loosens standards for asylum seekers.

    The case also illustrates why people have been waiting in immigration “holding facilities” for years, even after their original deportation orders come through (something that has recently been raised here).

    And, like I said, the entire thing is a rather profound example of judicial activism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  40. matt bernius says:

    Even shorter response:

    Totally see your points about immigration, but I’m less than convinced of the particular ironic connections you drew to be a little fuzzy.

    Either way, I’m glad you posted on this as I’m interested to follow this case.

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  41. Septimius says:

    @matt bernius: No, there is no state that allows parents to completely opt out of educating their children, and states can set education standards that must be met; however, it is recognized that parents have the right to determine the manner in which their children are educated whether it be public school, private school, or homeschooling. The state can also mandate that parents clothe their children; however, the state cannot mandate that parents must buy their kids Air Jordans.

    I don’t know how the author of the article would feel if it was a family of staunch Muslims; but I do know that, in general, conservatives have been supportive of asylum seekers, regardless of religion or skin color. It wasn’t conservatives that wanted to deport Elian Gonzalez. I don’t know of any conservatives who have argued against asylum for Tibetan monks or Chinese dissidents. Conservatives didn’t oppose asylum for Russian Jews during the Cold War.

    As for judicial activism, I don’t subscribe to the same definition as you do. Judicial activism is when a judge substitutes his or her own policy preferences for either established law or the Constitution. Simply striking down an unconstitutional law is not activism. Inventing a right that doesn’t exist in the constitution is activism. Did the judge in this case commit judicial activism when he granted asylum? Perhaps. As I said, I think it’s an interesting question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  42. Barry says:

    @Septimius: You’ve made three or four posts saying ‘asylum’ without mentioning ‘temporary’. At this point you’re a liar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  43. Barry says:

    ” Just because the Romeike family is white and Christian should not be a reason for outrage (however, the Christian part is the clear source of outrage here)”

    It’s not that they are christian; right-wingers don’t really care about that. It’s that they are (probably) right-wing evangelicals, known as ‘Christian’ to other right-wing evangelicals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  44. matt bernius says:

    @Septimius:

    No, there is no state that allows parents to completely opt out of educating their children, and states can set education standards that must be met; however, it is recognized that parents have the right to determine the manner in which their children are educated whether it be public school, private school, or homeschooling.

    So, just to be clear, your argument is really that *home schooling is a fundamental human right.* Again, the Romeike family had their choice of schools — public, private, and parochial — the issue was they *didn’t like their choices.*

    And for the record, no, I don’t believe homeschooling is or should be a fundamental human right or, by itself, the lack of it should be the basis for granting asylum.

    I do know that, in general, conservatives have been supportive of asylum seekers, regardless of religion or skin color.

    I think — in general — Conservatives are supportive of these folks in theory. However, if you look into cases of mass Asylum seeking communities — see the Hmong in California after the Vietnam war in the late 70′s and early 80′s — you’ll see a lot of resistance among Conservatives to accepting them en mass (especially as they all needed to be placed on public assistance).

    But we can agree to disagree on this point.

    I don’t subscribe to the same definition as you do. Judicial activism is when a judge substitutes his or her own policy preferences for either established law or the Constitution.

    So a Southern, Conservative Christian administrative law judge radically extending the meaning of “religious persecution” beyond what law and policy makers intended isn’t Judicial Activism? I mean, there’s no way personal belief might have entered into this decision at all…

    Sorry dude, you’re either being intentionally blind to the situation or trolling…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  45. Septimius says:

    @matt bernius:

    Is homeschooling a constitutional right? Probably. In 1925, the Supreme Court struck down an Oregon law that required students to be educated in public school. In Pierce v Society Sisters,

    Justice James Clark McReynolds wrote the opinion of the Court. He stated that children were not “the mere creature[s] of the state” (268 U.S. 510, 535), and that, by its very nature, the traditional American understanding of the term liberty prevented the state from forcing students to accept instruction only from public schools. He stated that this responsibility belonged to the child’s parents or guardians, and that the ability to make such a choice was a “liberty” protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.

    In general, qualification for political asylum is based on the U.S. Constitution, not the laws of other countries. Therefore, if a Chinese political activist faces arrest and imprisonment for speaking out against the Chinese government, he or she would qualify for asylum in the U.S., because the U.S. Constitution recognizes the right of free speech, even if China does not. So, if this family faces persecution in Germany for a fundamental right recognized by the U.S. Constitution, then they would qualify for asylum.

    As for Vietnamese refugees, I think you are absolutely wrong. The strongest resistance to resettlement of refugees in California in the 70′s came from Democratic Governor Jerry Brown. He thought California already had too many Hispanics.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6855407

    And, I never said that the judge who granted asylum wasn’t engaging in judicial activism. If you actually read my comment, I said perhaps it was judicial activism. Ultimately, there is no clear definition of who fits into a “particular social group.” This judge determined that the Romeike’s do fit the criteria. And, just because a judge has a personal belief doesn’t mean he’s engaging in activism. Sometimes, a judge’s (even a scary Southern, Christian) personal beliefs are entirely consistent with the law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  46. matt bernius says:

    @Septimius:

    Is homeschooling a constitutional right? Probably.

    I didn’t suggest it wasn’t a US constitutional right. I simply said it wasn’t a fundamental human right.

    More broadly, I don’t think you appreciate the conditions under which we grant asylum to individuals. We do not grant asylum simply based on whether or not someone is going to be prosecuted for civil disobedience based on advocating for a right that we have but they don’t.

    Wikipedia provides a good source for understanding the basics on asylum:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asylum_in_the_United_States

    Thanks for the links to the NPR Story. When I wrote my comments I was initially thinking about issues I had read about bringing Hmong — not South Vietnamese — refugees to the US. I will note that a number of Conservative and Republican politicians did great work to reverse a US policy about “repatriating” war displaced Hmong into Laos — where many were being oppressed and killed.

    As for the topic of Judicial Activism, I was suggesting that this case fit the definition you shared. And as for the finding, again I will argue that the two counts that the judge found on were both radical extensions that were not in keeping with similar past immigration cases.

    As for the ultimate question of judicial activism, we will have to wait and see what the District and the Circuit courts find. As I said above, there’s a better than outside chance that this could even make it to the supreme court.

    And I have no doubt that Southern Christian judges regularly make judgements entirely consistent with the law. And that their personal beliefs match the law. But having reviewed the decision (along with my resident legal expert), I don’t think this was one of those cases.

    Again, we’ll have to wait until it makes its way through the higher courts to see which one of us is right.

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