Defining Persecution Down: Under New Bill, U.S. Will Grant Asylum To Homeschooling Parents From Western Countries March 10, 2015

Defining Persecution Down: Under New Bill, U.S. Will Grant Asylum To Homeschooling Parents From Western Countries

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about a German family that sought asylum in the United States because Germany wouldn’t allow the hyper-Christian parents, Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, to homeschool their six kids. It was hard to argue that the Romeikes had truly been “persecuted” by not following the normal Schulpflicht (German parents’ obligation to send school-age children to, you know, school), so the family, which had moved to the U.S., faced deportation back to Germany for a while. However, a sudden reprieve from the Department of Homeland Security allowed them to stay.

Now that single case has led to a new bill, H.R. 1153 (the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act of 2015). It is scheduled for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee today or tomorrow.

H.R. 1153 says that up to 500 people per fiscal year will be granted asylum in the U.S. if they fall under this description:

“[A] person who has been persecuted for failure or refusal to comply with any law or regulation that prevents the exercise of the individual right of that person to direct the upbringing and education of a child of that person (including any law or regulation preventing homeschooling), or for other resistance to such a law or regulation, shall be deemed to have been persecuted on account of membership in a particular social group, and a person who has a well-founded fear that he or she will be subject to persecution for such failure, refusal, or resistance shall be deemed to have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of membership in a particular social group.”

Mark my words: That “particular social group,” in practice, will be Christians only. The bill was developed by the Christian Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), in collaboration with supportive members of Congress.

Do you think for a moment that the fellow Jesus lovers who fought to allow the Romeikes to stay in America, ostensibly on the principle of the thing, would have lifted a finger if this had been a German Muslim family that came to the U.S. for the right to homeschool their kids according to the Qur’an? Please.

Note, by the way, how no actual instances of persecution need to have taken place for asylum seekers to be admitted, according to the text. A “well-founded fear” that such persecution could occur is sufficient to qualify.

An article about the bill in Charisma News clarifies that countries from which asylum seekers will be accepted include Germany and Sweden, even though those nations are known for being highly stable, free, orderly, and thriving (on a list of the world’s freest countries, Sweden is number 6 — four spots ahead of the United States — and Germany is ranked at 14).

If the bill becomes law, it’ll all cost a pretty penny:

Among the measure’s changes to the Immigration and Nationality Act, it would also require the U.S. Attorney General to hire at least 50 more immigration judges, making it easier for families who come to the U.S. because of homeschooling to be granted asylum.

That’s an expense of roughly six to seven million dollars in judges’ salaries alone.

Last year, I asked some questions about the Romeikes’ case, such as

Is this going to start a trend? Are we going to see an influx of foreign Christians who dislike the fact that their countries’ [public] schools don’t offer a religious curriculum? In other words … is the U.S. volunteering to be a dumping ground safe haven for every religious hardliner who dislikes his or her democratic, secular school system back home?


Are we defining persecution down?

It’s clear now that the answer, in both cases, is an unequivocal yes.

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