Legalize 12 million people who crossed the U.S. border without regard for U.S. law or sovereignty? An Obama administration priority. Protecting a family that came to America seeking the freedom to practice their religion without fear of the state taking away their children? DEPORT THEM!

A German family that claims it will be persecuted for homeschooling if sent back, lost its asylum request Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court and could be deported.

The justices, without comment, turned down the appeal of Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, who applied to stay in the United States on grounds of religious freedom.

Keeping with their Christian beliefs, they are educating their five children at home.

They said German law requires all children to attend public or state-approved private schools, and that such institutions “engendered a negative attitude toward family and parents and would tend to turn their children against Christian values.”

The Romeikes claimed German authorities threatened to take custody of their children if they did not comply.

The family moved to east Tennessee six years ago and applied for asylum with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

An immigration judge initially granted their request in 2010 to the Romeikes and their children, saying they were “members of a particular social group” and would be punished for their religious beliefs if returned.

But the Justice Department revoked it last year.

The Board of Immigration Appeals concluded homeschoolers are too ‘amorphous” to constitute a social group eligible for protection under the asylum law.

For the sake of argument, let’s grant that the Justice Department had a genuine problem granting political asylum to the Romeikes. Let’s say their request really did run afoul of one law or rule or another that would make it impossible to give them political asylum. And let’s say that the Supreme Court, in refusing to hear their appeal, had legitimate reasons based in law to conclude that the case was rightly decided.

Grant all of that, and then ask this question:

Why in the name of all that’s holy did the White House allow this case to get this far, and refuse to use their favorite power–that of “prosecutorial discretion”–to put an end to this family’s nightmare?

My wife suggested that perhaps the administration wanted to establish a legal principle, and now that that’s done they will take action to allow the Romeikes to stay. We can hope and pray that such will be the case. If you like reading tea leaves, you can try to predict the future by deciphering this response from the White House to a petition signed by over 125,000 since last March:

The We the People Terms of Participation explain that “the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government.” To the extent that these petitions request a particular law enforcement or adjudicatory action, or address a matter before the courts, we cannot issue a comment.

But while we can’t comment on this particular issue, we know that homeschooling is a popular option for many parents pursuing high academic standards for their children. Homeschooling can provide young people with the resources and attention they need to succeed academically, and we understand why their parents value this freedom.

That response has no date on it, so I suspect it was issued long before today’s ruling. That means it’s time to start ramping up the public pressure on the administration to do the right thing. Now.