Home school

It's "our fundamental right to decide how we want to teach our children," says Uwe Romeike, an evangelical Christian and concert pianist who sold his treasured Steinway to help move his family to the United States -- and who last month became the first immigrant to be granted asylum here over the issue of educational freedom.

The European slave state which the Romeikes escaped? Germany.

A German appeals court in 2007 not only affirmed a lower court's decision that removed a different 15-year-old home schooler from her family, but also ordered her parents to be given psychiatric evaluations.

The Romeikes decided to uproot their family in 2008 after they'd accrued about $10,000 in fines for home schooling their three oldest children and police had turned up at their doorstep to escort the kids to school, "by force if necessary."

Wolfgang Drautz, consul general of the Federal Republic of Germany, explains that government figures it "has a legitimate interest in countering the rise of parallel societies that are based on religion or motivated by different world views and in integrating minorities into the population as a whole."

On Jan. 26, a Memphis immigration judge made the Romeikes the first people granted asylum in here because they were persecuted for home schooling.

At which point -- are you ready? -- in late February, the Obama administration formally appealed the Romeike ruling, expressing concerns that the already heavily backlogged immigration courts would be flooded with asylum petitions from home schoolers in countries "typically regarded as having non-repressive governments, including Spain and the Netherlands," which allow home schooling only under exceptional circumstances.

But liberty is liberty, even if the regimes threatening parental freedom of conscience are "typically regarded as having non-repressive governments."

The Memphis judge was right to grant the Romeikes asylum, because U.S. law covers social groups with "a well-founded fear of persecution" in their home countries.

As to the notion that federal immigration officers -- who couldn't find one of our estimated 10 million illegal immigrants with both hands in a La Raza parade -- are now suddenly concerned about being "swamped" by a few hundred legitimate European asylum seekers? Hey, good one.

So long as they do it by the book, let's reiterate: Send us your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.

That's what America's for.