On the German homeschool refugee case: I agree with everything EW has written here, and will express my satisfaction that under the weight of public pressure the DHS has reversed itself and granted the family asylum status. And I also believe the case was correctly decided.
In the context of a middle-class country, and in particular one where the public education system has become a vehicle for uniform and specific official hostility to the values of a plurality (if no longer a majority) of the families whose children it purports to serve, the right of families to homeschool or otherwise privately educate their children should be legally recognized. America has come to respect this right; Germany, to its discredit, has not, and given the family's well-documented and widely-reported struggle with the German authorities, and given as well that there are no countervailing factors that would prevent them from making a positive contribution to America, the DHS should have granted them permission to stay.
But the asylum process is rife with enough fraud as it is. Consider homeschooling in the context of a developing rather than an already-developed country. It may be the case that a poor country, with no agenda other than providing for the education of the populace, establishes compulsory education with no homeschooling exception on the not-unreasonable fear that such an exception would be widely abused to keep children working in the family chum-grinding business (let's say). It may be that there are families in our under-developed country for whom public school would be a gross imposition for religious or other reasons, and a well-managed asylum program would look honestly at this question. Are your reasons for wanting to homeschool specific or general? Do you have an individualized history of being legally pursued by your home government? Are you otherwise assimiliable into American society?
But I really don't want the judiciary trying to impose those kinds of rules, because it's so easy to predict the result: every subject of the poor country with the least interest in immigrating to the U.S. would have presumptive right of entry into America. All they would have to do is claim that they want to homeschool their children! Now the SCOTUS might hand down rules by which such claims might be evaluated, but granting any kind of substantive right of asylum to foreigners would still present a huge difficulty in managing the immigration on behalf of American values and interests. Yes, I know: 0bama's not doing that, but then it wouldn't irrespective of a contrary decision. And some future administration might now be allowed to.