Stephen Colbert, the host of Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report,” testified before Congress on Friday about his one-day stint as a farm worker during a hearing entitled “Protecting America’s Harvest,” which examined the role of immigrant labor in the US agricultural sector.
Colbert joined Arturo S. Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers (UFW), before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law. He explained to Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) why he is advocating on behalf of immigrant workers.
“I like talking about people who don’t have any power…I feel the need to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves….We ask them to come and work, and then we ask them to leave again. They suffer and have no rights,” Colbert said.
As previously reported in La Plaza, the comedian and faux news anchor partnered with the UFW to challenge assertions that undocumented immigrants are taking jobs from American workers and featured the UFW’s “Take Our Jobs” campaign on his show.
The campaign offers U.S. citizens an opportunity to apply for and fill the thousands of agricultural jobs.
“The reality is farm workers who are here today aren’t taking any American jobs away. They work in often unbearable situations,” said Arturo Rodriguez, president of the UFW. “I don’t think there will be many takers, but the offer is being made. Let’s see what happens.”
The “Colbert Report” aired a two-part story earlier this week in which he interviewed Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) who chairs the subcommittee he testified before. He then spent a day on a farm in upstate New York laboring alongside Latino immigrants packing crates of corn and picking beans.
Colbert told the members of Congress of his experience saying, “Please don’t make me do this again.”