We hear a lot about asylum cases, illegal immigration, and the heartbreaking circumstances of many who flee to the West. Regardless of your views on illegal migration, many of these stories are genuine and heartbreaking. But it is significant, I think, that there has been crickets from the press on this story, with the exception of Fox News and a handful of Christian outlets. From the Washington Examiner:
A Christian German immigrant family has been pleading with the Biden administration to stop their deportation after living in the United States for 15 years. They fled Germany in 2008 after being threatened with fines and prosecution for homeschooling their children.
“We are supposed to come back in two weeks from now to show our passports to be ready to move our family back to Germany,” Uwe Romeike told Fox News Channel host Laura Ingraham on Monday night.
The Ingraham Angle host contrasted the German family with the influx of immigrants flooding the U.S.-Mexico border. “Are you watching this play out at the border of the United States, where 500,000 Venezuelans are given work permits and are given work permits without any examination of their claims for asylum — no investigation at all of their claims? Yet they are being given temporary protective status. What do you think about that?” the Fox News host asked.
“It’s interesting. We try to do it the right way. We don’t get the right to stay here or to immigrate. For 15 years, we fight for that right, and it seems there are two faces to this administration,” Hannelore Romeike said. The family of seven left Germany due to the country’s laws only allowing homeschooling in limited circumstances. They filed for asylum and now reside in eastern Tennessee.
“America used to be a free country, and people from all over the world immigrated here to seek freedom. We initially got freedom,” Uwe Romeike said. The family initially claimed in its asylum request that “God was calling them to homeschool” their children and German schools were “anti-Christian.”
The family members have been given four weeks to obtain German passports and return to their home country, where homeschooling remains largely illegal. The family is being represented by the Home School Legal Defense Association, the U.S.’s largest homeschool advocacy organization.
It was the Nazis, incidentally, who banned homeschooling. As the Independent noted back in 2014, the Nazis “were deeply suspicious of anyone who wanted to homeschool. Clearly such people were non-conformists and—in a totalitarian society where the will of the State was all—that could not be permitted.” After the fall of the Third Reich, the German government opted to keep this prohibition, and as a result many German families who wish to homeschool have left the country. Families like the Romeikes, if they break this law, face the very real possibility that their children could be taken away from them.
Why is this story getting little traction? For the same reason that most people remain totally unaware that Christians are the most persecuted group in the world: because in the West, Christians are inconvenient victims. In the progressive narrative, Christianity is an oppressive ideology and people who identify as LGBT+ are victims, and thus the mainstream press treats us to endless stories about gender non-conforming people facing discrimination while largely avoiding human interest stories about, say, China’s underground churches, or North Korea executing people for owning Bibles, or the near-weekly massacres of Christians in Nigeria. A family of Christian homeschoolers is a deeply unsympathetic protagonist for a major press story, even if they are fleeing Nazi-era laws; especially when the media is busy casting parental rights as a thinly-veiled excuse to persecute “trans kids.”
The America that the Romeikes are living in—for now—is not the one they fled to fifteen years ago.