July 31, 2008

Mike Protack: View on education of the undocumented varies depending on audience

Mike Protack said to the Latino forum yesterday "You can't solve the long history of documented/undocumented on the backs of our children." But most telling was the segment in this video where Protack was asked specifically -- twice -- about the education of UNDOCUMENTED children in Delaware public schools. After the questioner reiterates he is talking about UNDOCUMENTED students and getting in-state tuition at college, Protack responds, "Well, the important part of that is that they're students in our public schools. Yes. That's the easy answer." Further, he goes on:

"If these students are in our public schools, attending our schools and want to attend the University of Delaware, absolutely."

"These students" clearly refers to the UNDOCUMENTED students the questioner was asking about -- whether they should be allowed to pay in-state tuition for UD. Mike Protack clearly says "Yes" first, and then "Absolutely." It's on the video.

On WGMD radio this afternoon, in response to a caller who expressed the view that any student should be allowed to come here -- no matter what country they're from -- and get an education, Protack responded thusly:

"As I just said, legal residents in the state of Delaware, going to our public schools, going to a public university, paying in-state tuition."

Listen to the exchange here. (Relevant audio begins at approx. 2:48 into the segment.)

I also wonder why WGMD didn't post the entire Protack interview. I've heard from sources who heard the WGMD show live who say about a quarter of the interview is missing from the WGMD blog website, and in it Protack emphatically stated that [he meant] only LEGAL residents should get in-state tuition. (This is probably why he begins "As I just said" in his answer noted above.)

So here we have it. For a downstate radio audience, Mike Protack believes only LEGAL residents should get in-state tuition (and DE education in general). For a live Hispanic audience, Mike Protack believes that even UNDOCUMENTED residents can get in-state tuition (and DE education in general).

And this is the guy who had a paroxysm of self-righteous indignation -- and who said rival Bill Lee's campaign is "over and done" -- because Lee initially favored granting drivers licenses to undocumented residents?


UPDATE (Aug. 1 at 8:47am): As I could have predicted, Mike Protack, in the comments section of this post, has claimed that the relevant video has been "doctored," and that he did indeed ask about the legality of students' residency. He's even offered to show us the "full video."

But Down With Absolutes' Mike Matthews might have something to say about that. He was at the Latino forum that day, and tells me by e-mail that Protack "DID NOT ask to clarify the question to see if the moderator confirmed the children were legal residents/citizens. He simply asked to have it re-read so hed understand the moderator was referring to 'CHILDREN of undocumented immigrants.'

I've a feeling if Protack actually did show us the "full segment," it'd be that tape that was doctored.

Posted by Hube at July 31, 2008 10:43 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

The fact that Protack showed up on WGMD today showed that he was scrambling to make up for the grievous error he made at the Latino debate.

Lee made a case for granting drivers licenses to illegals, which he rescinded ( a flip-flop I can live with). Protack beat him senseless for his original position, and continues to do so, despite Lee's renunciation. Then, Protack clearly advocates a position that would certainly make Delaware a more hospitable location for undocumented aliens than driving privileges - free education through high school, and heavily discounted college. He did so to garner attention from an audience that would otherwise have ignored him, or - more likely - treated him with hostility, given the fact that last month he talked about mandatory IDs and arresting illegals.

Posted by: RickJ19958 at August 1, 2008 07:04 AM

Sorry guys but you leave out an important part of the equation and doctoring up a tape doesn't help. Let me know if you want the entire filming period.

I asked twice about the students as they are the ones who are applying for admission. I asked if they were legal residents, attending our schools and if they were asking to attend the U of D. The parents were not seeking admission. I have had two sons go through the college process and I know RickJ has not.

Students who were born here do have federal rights which have been upheld in court so that is why I responded thatis was an easy answer. There was no error or problem. The problem is the serious error on Lee's behalf which has sunk his campaign and re read the above, a Flip Flop I can live with?

Ask any parent who pays U of D tuition and I don't think they will call it discounted, it is a big burden to most families.

My proposal for immigration is indeed a three step process using E verify (something Lee knew nothing about), then the hand held devices and of course penalties for those who hire undocumented workers. If we do thiese steps, Delaware will cease to be a destination for undocumented workers, if we follow Lee's driver license policy we will be over run.

By the way, does Lee have a policy other than that serious misguided one?

I was treated with hostility, I was introduced in two interviews( obe radio and one TV) before the Forum as "the anti immigrant candidate".

Also, again RickJ has no facts at all. The apppearance on the Bill Colley Show was arranged before the Hispanic Forum. Sorry Rick, you need to get off the Grassy Knoll and get your guy to a debate, if and when he gets prepared to do so.

Posted by: Mike Protack at August 1, 2008 07:41 AM

Mike: You're arguing that that entire segment was doctored? That the person in the tape -- who emphasized TWICE that he was referring to UNDOCUMENTED students -- had his question by you ... but that you actually asked if they were LEGAL residents??

If I request the "full segment" from you, will I actually see it? Or will it be like that summons/lawsuit against a certain Mr. Burris? Will it be as authentic as your "always posting under your name" comment?

Posted by: Hube at August 1, 2008 08:34 AM


There was no doctoring of the tape. I'm sorry, but I was there. If you remember, we shook hands and shared plesantries. You did not ask the moderator -- in any way -- whether the children of the undocumented immigrants were citizens. You simply asked to have the question repeated so that you could understand that the moderator was talking about "undocumented immigrants."

Mike, what happened to the audio at WGMD?

Posted by: Mike Matthews at August 1, 2008 08:45 AM


Though Mike Protack does make a point that children BORN in the US are certainly granted all rights of citizenship, it is not my belief that the question was being posed implying such. The question, I believe, was quite clear, and inferred that if the parents are undocumented, then the children likely are, as well.

I'm sure Mike knows this, but had to take his audience into consideration...so to speak.

Posted by: Mike Matthews at August 1, 2008 08:54 AM