A bill that will allow families who are persecuted by their governments for homeschooling children to be granted asylum in the U.S. was passed Wednesday. According to USA Today, the bill, which was brought on by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, will also make it more difficult for children fleeing gang violence in Central America to be granted asylum.
Supporters of the bill include Michael Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association.
He said, "No one should be forced to flee their homeland in order to homeschool. But that is what... families have had to do in order to escape crushing fines, criminal penalties and even the seizure of their children in countries like Germany and Sweden."
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez expressed his concern that the bill will make it more difficult for Central American children to be granted refuge in the U.S.
"Shouldn't children who are fleeing child abuse and violence be afforded the same protection as a child who is denied homeschooling?" Gutiérrez said. "If we're going to have this unprecedented carve-out for homeschooling, we should put at the same level children fleeing abuse, rape, gangs and murder."
Rep. Raúl Labrador, argued that asylum laws are specifically for people who are persecuted by their home governments, not those who are attempting to escape crime.
Publication date: March 19, 2015