GLENN: I want to go right to Michael Farris. He is the homeschooling legal defense association head guy, and we have had him on a couple of times. Do you remember the family from Germany that left Germany because the State was going to take their children away because they wanted to teach them about God. They did not want them in public schools where it was Godless and teaching them things that they didn't want to teach their children. And so their children came over here from Germany. We had them on the TV show a couple of weeks ago. They are remarkable people, just remarkable people. They came over here, they did it the right way, they came through the front door. They have asked for asylum. They were granted asylum. They set up their life, they're working, they're not ‑‑ they're not on the government Dole, they're making money and they love America. And they're here for religious freedom. Well, Eric Holder decided, no, we're not going to grant you asylum. So he challenged the Court and said, I want to make a different, a different case. And the case that I want to make is homeschooling is not a God‑given right. You don't have a right to homeschool. So they're not really being oppressed because there is no right. The government can take your children and educate them any way they want to.
Yesterday the federal government overturned the case, so now they're no longer granted asylum. They have to go home. If they choose to teach their children about God, their children will be taken from them. If this isn't the clearest case of oppression, if this isn't a clear case of people who need a refuge, need to come here to America so their children aren't taken away merely for their belief in God, merely for their belief that they should be able to teach their children, I don't know what is. This case has everything to do with your children. This case really is not about the Romeike family. This case is about what this government's about to do to you and your children. That's my belief.
Michael Farris is here. Michael, shocking decision yesterday.
FARRIS: It was, Glenn. I had a hard time containing my emotions. I got a call as I was driving to the office when I got in. It was all I could do, but it was very fast, it was very one‑sided, and the court was ‑‑ in oral argument there was one judge that was incredibly aggressive and hostile. We were holding out hope for the other two, but it didn't work out that way.
GLENN: Why was he hostile? Why was he hostile?
FARRIS: Well, what he was saying was basically everybody should obey the government.
FARRIS: I mean, and to some degree that was the essence of the opinion is that because there's a compulsory attendance law for everybody in Germany, then tough beans. Just because it applies to you in a particularly harsh way, that's too bad for you. It's ooh general law.
GLENN: Well, wait a minute. Then couldn't you say that about the Jews that were in Germany?
PAT: Couldn't you say that about the Cubans who come here for asylum from Cuba?
GLENN: I mean, there's ‑‑ so it's applied to you harshly.
PAT: Yeah, tough.
GLENN: Oh, well, there's a lot of people that are in Cuba that don't have harsh conditions.
PAT: Sorry you don't like communism. That's ‑‑ you should obey the law.
FARRIS: That's exactly the point, and they make the argument essentially this, that the only value we're going to protect is equal protection, which throws individual liberty into the trash heap. And ‑‑ because these people are standing on individual liberty claims. They are not saying that the law as written only applies to them in some peculiar way. The harshest of the punishment clearly is aimed at the homeschooling, and the real essence of an asylum case is to prove persecution, and the essence of persecution is the government's motive. And that's real clear. I mean, the law is extremely clear on that point. Yet, they do not even quote, they do not even cite the statements by the Supreme Court of Germany, by the court of appeals of Germany, by the federal ministers of Germany that say out loud very explicitly we are trying to stop religious and philosophical minorities from getting a foothold in this country. That's what they say, out loud. And they ‑‑ by ignoring that motive is the only way they get to the conclusion they've reached and if we ‑‑
GLENN: So this is not just ‑‑ this is not just an attack on homeschooling here in America. I'm just trying to ‑‑ I'm trying to figure out where this, where this case actually goes, why, out of all the cases that you could pick, why Eric Holder said this one. And so this one not only appears to me to be about your right to homeschool your kids here in America but also religious liberty.
FARRIS: Oh, it does. And it goes with, you know, what we're seeing with the IRS and the attack on conservatives. You know, the fact that home ‑‑ Christian homeschoolers are seen as philosophical conservatives, the administration is dedicated to philosophical liberalism or progressivism, and they support their friends and they attack their enemies. And they are ‑‑ you know, that's not what the court decision's about, but that's what Eric Holder is about. Eric Holder I believe cannot offer a legitimate justification for why we're pursuing leniency for 11 million people who came here illegally and at the same time trying to deport this one German homeschooling family. There is no logical argument that can explain that disparity.
GLENN: Especially they are not on the government teat.
FARRIS: Yes, exactly.
GLENN: They are not on the government teat. Everyone else comes over here that they are trying to excuse, every single person that they are trying to excuse comes over here illegally through the back door and then is taking all of our services. These guys are not taking the services. They are actually ‑‑ are they employed?
FARRIS: Yes, they are ‑‑ they are music teachers. They have students who come and take music lessons from them.
GLENN: Are they paying their taxes?
GLENN: I mean, these people are paying their taxes, they're employed. Are they using their real names?
FARRIS: They are using their real names.
GLENN: Have they stolen Social Security numbers?
GLENN: I mean, why are we attacking these people? It is absolutely incredible to me.
FARRIS: This is what the administration wants. They want the people that fit the profile you just outlined and ‑‑
GLENN: And I will tell you this. This goes into exactly what we talked about last week on For the Record. We did a special For the Record. The first half was on the Coptic Christians that this administration is paying no attention to and they are being slaughtered, they are being raped, and so many are coming over here and trying for asylum. We still don't know if they are going to get asylum or not. I mean, are those Christians going to get asylum or are we going to send those guys back, those people literally to death? Oh, this ‑‑
FARRIS: Well, if the administration's going to be consistent, they are going to take a stand against those people as well because they don't fit the profile that the administration is looking to Curry. You know, what we are learning every day about this administration is they are not interested in constitutional principles except as a grounds of suppressing people, they are not interested in obeying the First Amendment and they are certainly not interested in religious freedom. They have a political agenda, they punished their enemies, they reward their friends. And Coptic Christians, German homeschoolers, American homeschoolers line up on the wrong side of the track and so rights, liberty, all of that gets thrown away when Eric Holder and Barack Obama are involved.
PAT: So Michael, what happens now? Where do we go from here? You're appealing this, right?
FARRIS: We're doing a motion for rehearing to the entire sixth circuit. Every court of appeals decision is decided by three judges at the outset. In rare cases all the sitting judges will decide to hear it on bond, and there's 15 judges that are active judges in the sixth circuit. You don't count the semi‑retired judges that are senior status, but 15 judges, and we have to get one of those judges to, you know, say they want to circulate the petition and then they take a vote. And if a majority of the 15 say we want to hear the case, then we go into briefing and another oral argument.
GLENN: Do you think you have a ‑‑
FARRIS: If they don't, then we go to the Supreme Court.
PAT: So that would be the next step is if they turn that down, you're going to the Supreme Court?
FARRIS: Right. The appeal to the fifth circuit, what we just did is an appeal of rights. They have to listen to us. The two appeals that are left are discretionary. Neither court has to grant even a chance to make the case. They first decide whether they think it's important enough to take the decision and so ‑‑
PAT: What are the ramifications for the three million or so homeschoolers here in this country? Is it ‑‑ does this affect those of us who homeschool that this isn't just some right that we have to do with our children?
FARRIS: Not directly but it builds a precedent about what are rights and what are privileges. And the position of the government ‑‑ the sixth circuit decision in that regard was better than the government's position, but it's a far cry from, you know, a clean defense of rights. They said basically American homeschoolers may have the opportunity to make a case that's different because they can rely on the constitution, whereas we don't judge Germany by our U.S. Constitution.
GLENN: My gosh, then we don't ‑‑
PAT: They are not living in Germany, however.
GLENN: I mean, this is incredible to me.
GLENN: Then why do we take a single person from Cuba or China ‑‑
GLENN: ‑‑ or the boat people.
GLENN: Why didn't we take the boat people and send them all back? Why didn't we take the Jews ‑‑ I'm sorry. We were under a progressive administration. We did actually send the boat of Jews back. So at least they are being consistent.
FARRIS: They are being consistent.
PAT: Unbelievable. Wow.
FARRIS: And so, you know, so they pay a little bit of lip service to the rights of American homeschoolers, but the essence of a government's argument is this: Homeschooling and religious freedom are not individual rights that are protected. They are privileges that the government can grant you or not grant you. And if they have a broad general law that bans your rights, then just because they're privileges, they go away. That's the ultimate government position and, you know, what the sixth circuit opinion will sort out to be in the long run, it's a building block in the wrong direction. It's not a complete eradication of our rights, nor could it be since it's just a circuit court opinion. The Supreme Court and the justice department can do more damage to us. They also can vindicate us. And there's no reason Eric Holder can't end this mess today and just simply say, "You know what? I'm going to grant them asylum." He could do it today. And he doesn't have to wait for any more court decisions. If he wanted to get the, you know, to do something to show he has a little bit of an evenhanded spirit about him ‑‑
PAT: No way. No way. There's no way he would do that.
FARRIS: ‑‑ then he would sign this today. I'm not expecting it.
FARRIS: I'm not holding my breath, but he could. He has the authority ask the ability to do it today if he wanted to.
GLENN: Okay. So huh. Let me ask you this. Crazy thought: Does the State have the ability to say we as the State are going to grant this person ‑‑ are going to grant this family an asylum?
FARRIS: Well, I've been thinking that through because usually they ‑‑ when it comes time to deport them, they have to get the sheriff to come and arrest the people. I think that the Tennessee legislature could pass a law that basically says we direct our sheriffs not to deport people under these circumstances. Not to cooperate. I think there is a path for exploration of a state override of the federal mandate in this particular circumstance, but that's something we're going to have to pursue. There's also the ability to go to congress and get them to pass individual legislation that protects this family. And if we fail in the courts, that's where we're going to go next. We will go and attempt that. I've told the family, you know, I've actually literally said it's going to be over my dead body they send you back to Germany. So I'm going to do whatever I possibly can do and I'm going to keep fighting. And I am not giving up on this. And, you know, we're in the seventh inning and we're behind at this point. But the ninth ‑‑ the eighth and ninth innings are still coming and we're going to keep fighting.
GLENN: Michael, you have my commitment. You tell the family that over my dead body as well.
FARRIS: All right.
GLENN: We're in this ‑‑
FARRIS: I am happy to stand shoulder to shoulder, Glenn, with you on just about anything. So thank you very much. And thank you for all you've been doing for this family for this case. Your generosity and your support have been absolutely exemplary and have led the way for others who have been willing to help as well. Thank you so much.
GLENN: How are you guys ‑‑ how are you guys doing on cash for all of this? Do you need ‑‑ would it help if people ‑‑
FARRIS: Well, you know, we ‑‑ you've been so generous with us that, you know, what's happened, you know, happened so far has been paid for. It's ‑‑ you know, we're good as of this moment. You know, there's going to be other things but, you know, we'll never turn down more help, but you ‑‑
GLENN: What is your Web address?
FARRIS: ‑‑ express generosity for what you've done today, that's for sure.
GLENN: Is it hslda.org?
FARRIS: That's the website, yep. That's the main organization. If people want to give tax‑deductible contributions, they should do it through the homeschool foundation. That's our (C)(3) arm.
GLENN: And how do you ‑‑ what's the web address?
FARRIS: They think just link off the main web address.
GLENN: You need a more clever website because nobody's going to remember.
GLENN: Hslda, Home School Legal Defense Association, hslda.org. Go there and ‑‑
FARRIS: That's what happens when you're ‑‑ the organization's 30 years old.
GLENN: I know. Thank you very much, Michael. I appreciate it. God bless.
FARRIS: All right. God bless you.
GLENN: All right. Bye‑bye. I think this is a ‑‑
PAT: It's crazy.
PAT: It's crazy.
GLENN: I think this is a case that a state could get around.
GLENN: Well, I don't know. He seemed to have some help there but I don't see how because the federal immigration laws trump the state immigration laws. It's a federal law, not state. And you can't ‑‑ you can't circum ‑‑ and that's why ‑‑ that's why the state couldn't allow Arizona, that's why they sued Arizona because you can't trump federal law there. That's why Texas has a hard time bumping up against federal law. With immigration it's really tough. It's tough.
GLENN: I cannot believe that this government is actually saying amnesty for everybody that's here.
PAT: Except these guys.
GLENN: Except these guys.
GLENN: Who are law‑abiding, came in the front door, actually have a case of oppression, religious oppression. This is ‑‑ but these people don't appreciate the founders. They think that the Euro, the Euro trash that came over here, you know, stole all this land and so that's why, you know, give it all back to the ‑‑ I'm sorry. The Hispanics? Hispanics? You mean Hispania? Spain? Give the land back to the Spaniards? Really? But the Euro trash that came over here, that's bad? Okay, I get it. That's the most ridiculous line I've ever heard in my life. If there is somebody who is from Cuba and they need help, we help them! We help them. If somebody is being ‑‑ if their children are being taken away, you know what? Are you telling me that if come country was taking away the right of a Muslim family to raise their children in Islam that this administration would not give ‑‑ they would not roll the red carpet out for them and lecture us on how we need to be tolerant and a better nation because all of the eyes of the world is on us? Really? Bullcrap. Enough is enough. Over my dead body.