I think Ben has a fundamental misunderstanding of the U.S. asylum system. Last year, a third of all people granted asylum in the U.S. were from China. We also granted asylum to people from places such as Venezuela, Iran, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Nepal.
In other words, we granted asylum to those people residing in the worst of the worse countries in the entire world. Had we not granted these people asylum they would return home facing death or imprisonment by the authorities or by forces those governments are unable or unwilling to control.
While I agree that the German authorities have placed a terrible burden on the Wunderlichs it is not a matter of life and death. German homeschooling families still have remedies available to them through the courts and elected officials. Ben might not like those options, but that is far more than what is available to a Chinese asylum seeker practicing Falun Gong.
Here is another factor to consider should this country see fit to grant German homeschooling families asylum. In 2007, a U.S. soldier named Andre Shepherd deserted his base in Germany shortly before he was to be redeployed to Iraq. Shepherd sought asylum in Germany, but his application was rejected in 2011 and rightly so. I don’t think we would be too happy if Germany were to grant asylum to military deserters. However, if German homeschooling families are granted asylum here then Germany might see fit to retaliate by granting Shepherd his petition.
It should be noted that unlike the Romeikes, the Wunderlichs have not sought asylum in this country. They had previously resided in France where they faced problems with the authorities there over homeschooling. Eventually they returned to Germany after Dirk Wunderlich was unable to find employment.
Let me reiterate that I believe Germany’s law prohibiting homeschooling is wrong and that the German authorities were wrong to remove the Wunderlich children from their home. If German homeschooling families cannot find relief in Germany they ought to make their case before the EU courts and to EU officials, not through the U.S. asylum system.
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