Colbert Sticks To Shtick When Defending Migrant Workers
September 29, 2010 by Special To Personal Liberty
It's not every day that a comedian testifies in front of Congress to discuss one of America's hot-button topics. That was the case on Sept. 24, when Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert spoke on Capitol Hill about the influx of migrant workers.
Colbert remained in character for much of his testimony, sticking to his ultra-conservative — yet sarcastic — persona. Speaking to the House Judiciary subcommittee, he mocked the reaction many Americans have had to immigrant laborers.
"America's farms are presently far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruits and vegetables," Colbert said. "Now, the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. And if you look at the recent obesity statistics, many Americans have already started."
During recent episodes of The Colbert Report, video footage showed the comedian struggling to perform some basic farming duties and, at times, laying down on the job. During his testimony on Capitol Hill, he praised the people who currently do the job and added: "please don't make me do this again. It is really, really hard."
Republican members on the subcommittee expressed their displeasure with Colbert's appearance, unhappy with his portrayal of U.S. workers. Even some Democrats expressed a similar sentiment.
"I think his testimony was not appropriate," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told FOX News.
CNN reported that Colbert appeared alongside Arturo Rodriguez, president of United Farm Workers, who is pushing for a bill that would give undocumented farm workers the right to earn legal citizenship in the United States.
According to KPBS.org, a recent study by the Migration Policy Institute reveals that the fastest growth in immigrant employment since 2000 covers jobs that require specific skills. An increasing number of immigrant families are making $30,000 or more, the news provider reported.