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PURCELLVILLE, Va., Jan. 26 /Christian Newswire/ -- Today, in a first of its kind case, a federal immigration judge in Memphis, Tennessee granted the Romeike family political asylum. Judge Burman said, "The rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate."
Judge Burman also expressed concern that while Germany is a democratic country and an ally this policy of persecuting homeschoolers is "repellent to everything we believe as Americans."
"This ruling is a major embarrassment for Germany. We hope this decision will cause Germany to stop persecuting homeschoolers," said Mike Donnelly, staff attorney and Director of International Relations for HSLDA.
Uwe Romeike, a music teacher, his wife Hannelore, and their five children, fled persecution by German authorities over homeschooling in August 2008 and are now living in Eastern Tennessee. This ruling opens the door for many other homeschool families to escape Germany.
The persecution of homeschoolers in Germany has been intensifying over the past several years. They are regularly fined thousands of dollars, threatened with imprisonment, or have the custody of their children taken away simply because they choose to home educate.
"We are so grateful to the judge for his ruling," said Uwe Romeike. "We know many people, especially other German homeschoolers, have been praying for us. Their prayers and ours have been answered. We greatly appreciate the freedom to homeschool we now have in America and will be building our new life here," he added.
For more information about Germany's persecution of homeschoolers, visit www.hslda.org/germany.
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a 27-year-old, 85,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent association advocating the legal right of parents to homeschool their children.