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Stephen Colbert to testify on Capitol Hill on 'Protecting America's Harvest'


(Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

This summer, comedian Stephen Colbert had United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez on his show to discuss the "Take our Jobs" campaign, in which in which citizens and legal residents could volunteer to replace migrant field laborers. Now Colbert is going to testify alongside Rodriguez before the House Judiciary Committee's immigration subcommittee at a hearing called "Protecting America's Harvest."

The UFW launched the campaign to counter claims that illegal immigrants are taking jobs from American workers -- with the argument that most people would never take these jobs. Colbert signed up to be one of the few who did -- for a day.

"Since we launched the "Take Our Jobs" more than three million people have visited our web site, www.takeourjobs.org. Of those visitors, 8,600 have expressed an interest in seeking employment as farm workers. Despite these numbers, only seven people have taken us up on the offer to take a job in agriculture," the UFW said in a press release. "These numbers demonstrate that there are more politicians and finger-pointers interested in blaming undocumented farm workers for America's unemployment crisis then there are unemployed Americans who are willing to harvest and cultivate America's food."

The "Protecting America's Harvest" hearing is at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, September 24th.


Here's video of Rodriguez on Colbert in July:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Arturo Rodriguez
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

On Wednesday night, Colbert interviewed Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chairman of the immigration subcommittee:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Fallback Position - Migrant Worker - Zoe Lofgren
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Video of him actually working on a farm airs Thursday night at 11:30 p.m.

Colbert is also coming to Washington in October for "dueling rallies" on the National Mall. But they have yet to get a permit for the event.

By Rachel Weiner  | September 23, 2010; 10:31 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Cast of Characters  
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Comments

i think it is ok to hire illegal immigrants because they provide a cheap and good service.

Posted by: klassifid | September 26, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

i think it is ok to hire illegal immigrants because they provide a cheap and good service.

Posted by: klassifid | September 26, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

i think it is ok to hire illegal immigrants because they provide a cheap and good service.

Posted by: klassifid | September 26, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

"Americans" who are weaker, lazier and dumber than immigrants" See pro-illegal-immigration zealots can call citizens weak, lazy and dumb all day, but the second some one suggests we enforce our laws they are labeled a raciest.

Posted by: colowww | September 24, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I like Colbert and Stewart, but they are comedians/entertainers. What gets lost in all of this fake debate on illegal-immigration is this. These farmers have legal means to hire legal migrant worker but most of them choose to hire illegals because filling out paperwork is a hassle, they also have to pay the legal migrant more and provide insurance and other benefits. So this bogus argument of "we have two choices, flood our labor market with millions of illegal immigrants every year or watch crops rot it the fields is a big lie." Illegal immigrants do jobs legal citizens wont do, for "slave wages". We had a labor movement in this country for a reason.

P.S. I'm a Democrat, I'm for reducing immigration because I'm for protecting the environment and the U.S. worker. Go to Numbers USA dot com and see how you can help.

Posted by: colowww | September 24, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

There you have it. The decline of America is complete. Jokesters from Comedy Central have greater journalistic standing than reporters and editors at The Washington Post or, America's paper of wreckord, The New York Times.

I fear an armed revolution is fast becoming our only real option...

Posted by: sosueme1 | September 24, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The "Americans" who are weaker, lazier and dumber than immigrants deserve to lose their jobs, and deserve to live in poor destitution.

No mercy for the weak.

Posted by: DCSNARK | September 24, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The "Americans" who are weaker, lazier and dumber than immigrants deserve to lose their jobs, and deserve to live in poor destitution.

No mercy for the weak.

Posted by: DCSNARK | September 24, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I think it is a great idea he is coming to DC. All the news media can do is speculate and blame this person or that person but it takes someone who is on a comedy show to be able to show america what's really going on. Every other news organization is so controlled by what they do or say that they would never be able to do a social experiment like this. It is going to take understanding the real situation before we can come to figure out a solution. Even though Colbert is on comedy central he shows how ridiculous some of the things that are going on in america. Now I know most of his show is silly but anyone who has seen his show can see during his interviews with guests that he knows what he is talking about and is very intellectual. Even if you don't like him, his coming to Capitol Hill isn't going to make anything that is going on up there any worse!

Posted by: jmc06 | September 24, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I know one thing for sure that ISN'T good for our country: more dissembling, more misrepresentation, and more outright deception by Democrats and the current president. Just one example: do you really support the government in changing the rules for 401ks and IRAs to force participants to put an undefined percentage of their savings into government debt? Do you even know that this rule change is in process between Treasury and Labor?
Ignorance is the real enemy of a better America, and those of us who actually listen to both sides can make our own judgments. You might try it.

Posted by: SavingGrace | September 23, 2010 1:39 PM
____________________________
You are either ignorant or dissembling. There is no such rule change in the works. wallyb is right - there are NO required investments of any sort for ANY kind of pension or retirement plan, and there are NO plans to change that, either at Treasury or Labor.

Posted by: luridone | September 24, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"It's not the jobs on the farms that illegals are taking. It's the jobs driving UPS and FedEx trucks, it's the jobs working at the U.S. Postal Service, it's the jobs standing behind the perfume counter at Macy's, it's the head teller jobs at all the banks, it's the sales associate jobs at all the major and minor retail stores, it's all the factory and manufacturing jobs, it's all the construction jobs, the restaurant and hotel jobs, it's all the jobs at Colin Powell's house. Those are the American jobs that non-Americans are doing that we need back."

Someone here might also claim Illegals are getting fake Social Security #'s or ID's. While it is true there is a capability to get fakes they hardly hold up. I used to sell cell phones and people would come in with fake Social Security #'s all the time, but they were always caught. The credit check would come back invalid #, or they would tell us the number was owned by someone else.

And as someone said, if there taking jobs at Fedex, there paying taxes.

Posted by: mattr4 | September 24, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Jobs are now opening at many of the following locations http://bit.ly/9oQhn6

Posted by: tonycurtis24 | September 24, 2010 5:59 AM | Report abuse

Illegals are not taking the jobs at the post office, Fed Ex or Target unless they have social security cards and really good picture ID. If they do, they are paying income taxes, social security and medicare they will never get to collect on.

Posted by: alaskan2 | September 24, 2010 3:47 AM | Report abuse

Illegals are not taking the jobs at the post office, Fed Ex or Target unless they have social security cards and really good picture ID. If they do, they are paying income taxes, social security and medicare they will never get to collect on.

Posted by: alaskan2 | September 24, 2010 3:45 AM | Report abuse

I have always known that Congress was a joke. Minnesotta elected, albeit barely, a clown from Saturday Night Live, to the US Senate. The house had to bring Colbert to testify, since they don't have a professional joker as a member. It's a sad day, when they are making a mockery about an issue that affects every aspect of our socieety and is slowly destroying our social service infrastructure.

There is a saying about numbers don't lie, but liars do number! The people who would take these job would probably haave never used a computer, much less gone to the web. Most hits were from curiosity or from those who don't want to grant amnesty to illegal aliens.

Posted by: truthbetold2010 | September 24, 2010 2:08 AM | Report abuse

I have always known that Congress was a joke. Minnesotta elected, albeit barely, a clown from Saturday Night Live, to the US Senate. The house had to bring Colbert to testify, since they don't have a professional joker as a member. It's a sad day, when they are making a mockery about an issue that affects every aspect of our socieety and is slowly destroying our social service infrastructure.

There is a saying about numbers don't lie, but liars do number! The people who would take these job would probably haave never used a computer, much less gone to the web. Most hits were from curiosity or from those who don't want to grant amnesty to illegal aliens.

Posted by: truthbetold2010 | September 24, 2010 2:07 AM | Report abuse

I would like to know who invited him? I think this is somebody's idea of a bad joke. I like his humor but this is the wrong thing to do if the Democrats want to be taken seriously by the voting public. Right now I have no sense of humor and there are millions more like me.

Posted by: RangerHAAF | September 24, 2010 2:02 AM | Report abuse

"It's not the jobs on the farms that illegals are taking. It's the jobs driving UPS and FedEx trucks, it's the jobs working at the U.S. Postal Service, it's the jobs standing behind the perfume counter at Macy's, it's the head teller jobs at all the banks, it's the sales associate jobs at all the major and minor retail stores, it's all the factory and manufacturing jobs, it's all the construction jobs, the restaurant and hotel jobs, it's all the jobs at Colin Powell's house. Those are the American jobs that non-Americans are doing that we need back."
-----------------------------------
Dude - get a grip and lose the "talking points"; with the possible exception of those jobs at Colin Powell's house, the jobs you listed require valid Social Security Numbers and "picture" ID. By definition, those here illegally don't have them. If you insist this is a serious problem - follow Mr. Arturo S. Rodriguezs' example and give some numbers and sources.

Posted by: shadowmagician | September 23, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

SavingGrace, please get some facts on the allowed investments available to participants of 401K and IRA plans. The plan sponsor, in the case of 401Ks directs the trustee which investments are allowed under the plan. IRA investments are directed by the participant under those allowed under the specific IRA, usually a bank, S&L, insurance company or others. There are no investments REQUIRED by the U.S. Treasury or Department of Labor. You are wrong!

Having been in the pension trust business for thirty some years (before ERISA, the law passed in 1974 which included IRAs) and familiar with the Internal Revenue Code sections concerning IRAs and 401Ks(Sec. 408, 409 and Sec. 401, respectively) I can stipulate those facts.

Do your homework before releasing some gas!

Posted by: wallyb | September 23, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

It's not the jobs on the farms that illegals are taking. It's the jobs driving UPS and FedEx trucks, it's the jobs working at the U.S. Postal Service, it's the jobs standing behind the perfume counter at Macy's, it's the head teller jobs at all the banks, it's the sales associate jobs at all the major and minor retail stores, it's all the factory and manufacturing jobs, it's all the construction jobs, the restaurant and hotel jobs, it's all the jobs at Colin Powell's house. Those are the American jobs that non-Americans are doing that we need back.

Posted by: crlchs1 | September 23, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

It seems to be an honest opportunity. Here is a job for a lower skilled worker that is supposedly being taken by illegals, thereby forcing a white american from supporting his family. The truth speaks though, these people are honorably working jobs that most americns would not.

Posted by: cadam72 | September 23, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Professor Martin of Cal-Davis has studied farm wages for a number of years. I urge everyone to take a look at his numerous studies. Simply put, he argues that if we tripled the wages paid to farm workers, we would see the price of food rise one or two dollars a week for the average American family. If farm workers made 25 to 30 dollars an hour, I wonder how many people would be willing to work in the fields of this nation. (I worked on my great uncles farm when I was a kid along side American citizens forty odd years ago.) Finally, I know that this is slightly off point. When construction workers in New Jersey made 27 to 30 dollars an hour, there were plenty of American citizens in this field. When the hourly wage sunk to 9 dollars an hour, large numbers of American citizens stopped being construction workers. Simply put, employers have used illegal immigrants to either hold down wages or drive American workers from fields of employment.

Posted by: jeffreed | September 23, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The UFW should know that what matters is the WAGE that the farmer offers--and in a market economy that wage is determined by the INTERACTION of the employers and the prospective workers. I rather doubt that the UFW's little experiment is including higher wage rates. It's no accident that farm workers on average earn far below the poverty level in this country and that farm wages in real terms have declined. It's also no accident that MOST ILLEGAL ALIENS DO NOT WORK IN AGRICULTURE, but have moved on to better and better paying jobs competing directly with Americans. ICE audits and raids have turned up illegal aliens working for Target, a grocerty store chain in the SW, an engine plant in Washington State, a government contractor producing leathergoods for the military in MA, and, of course, meat packing plants. The Pew Hispanic Center notes that 83% of construction jobs are held by LEGAL workers. Illegal aliens are working, using stolen or fraudulent IDs, alongside Americans in these industries, thus depriving Americans of jobs and driving down wages.

Posted by: Ali4 | September 23, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The UFW should know that what matters is the WAGE that the farmer offers--and in a market economy that wage is determined by the INTERACTION of the employers and the prospective workers. It's no accident that farm workers on average earn far below the poverty level in this country and that farm wages in real terms have declined. It's also no accident that MOST ILLEGAL ALIENS DO NOT WORK IN AGRICULTURE, but have moved on to better and better paying jobs competing directly with Americans. ICE audits and raids have turned up illegal aliens working for Target, a grocerty store chain in the SW, an engine plant in Washington State, a government contractor producing leathergoods for the military in MA, and, of course, meat packing plants. The Pew Hispanic Center notes that 83% of construction jobs are held by LEGAL workers. Illegal aliens are working, using stolen or fraudulent IDs, alongside Americans in these industries, thus depriving Americans of jobs and driving down wages.

Posted by: Ali4 | September 23, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The UFW should know that what matters is the WAGE that the farmer offers--and in a market economy that wage is determined by the INTERACTION of the employers and the prospective workers. It's no accident that farm workers on average earn far below the poverty level in this country and that farm wages in real terms have declined. It's also no accident that MOST ILLEGAL ALIENS DO NOT WORK IN AGRICULTURE, but have moved on to better and better paying jobs competing directly with Americans. ICE audits and raids have turned up illegal aliens working for Target, a grocerty store chain in the SW, an engine plant in Washington State, a government contractor producing leathergoods for the military in MA, and, of course, meat packing plants. The Pew Hispanic Center notes that 83% of construction jobs are held by LEGAL workers. Illegal aliens are working, using stolen or fraudulent IDs, alongside Americans in these industries, thus depriving Americans of jobs and driving down wages. By the way, employers have had no trouble hiring LEGAL workers after the raids.

Posted by: Ali4 | September 23, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The UFW should know that what matters is the WAGE that the farmer offers--and in a market economy that wage is determined by the INTERACTION of the employers and the prospective workers. It's no accident that farm workers on average earn far below the poverty level in this country and that farm wages in real terms have declined. It's also no accident that MOST ILLEGAL ALIENS DO NOT WORK IN AGRICULTURE, but have moved on to better and better paying jobs competing directly with Americans. ICE audits and raids have turned up illegal aliens working for Target, a grocerty store chain in the SW, an engine plant in Washington State, a government contractor producing leathergoods for the military in MA, and, of course, meat packing plants. The Pew Hispanic Center notes that 83% of construction jobs are held by LEGAL workers. Illegal aliens are working, using stolen or fraudulent IDs, alongside Americans in these industries, thus depriving Americans of jobs and driving down wages. By the way, employers have had no trouble hiring LEGAL workers after the raids.

Posted by: Ali4 | September 23, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to Colbert and Jon Stewart we do get an honest assessment of the news. Lord knows, we don't get it from FOX. This is just another example of how really off the mark the Republicans are about what is good for our country.

Posted by: janetal2004gmailcom
******************
Nice to see you've joined Comedy Central. Do you ever actually LISTEN to Fox, or are you just repeating leftists' talking points?
I know one thing for sure that ISN'T good for our country: more dissembling, more misrepresentation, and more outright deception by Democrats and the current president. Just one example: do you really support the government in changing the rules for 401ks and IRAs to force participants to put an undefined percentage of their savings into government debt? Do you even know that this rule change is in process between Treasury and Labor?
Ignorance is the real enemy of a better America, and those of us who actually listen to both sides can make our own judgments. You might try it.

Posted by: SavingGrace | September 23, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

This could easily backfire on the Democrats. The American People are taking the issue of Illegal Immigration very seriously. More so,then ever before. If Colbert gets in front of Congress and starts wise cracking.He makes his jokes, uses his humor on this issue. The Republicans are going to jump all over it. I can just see one of their Ads. " This what the Democrats think of Illegal Immigration( insert clip of Colbert)a BIG JOKE. Republicans response "It"s NOT.

Posted by: banger909 | September 23, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to Colbert and Jon Stewart we do get an honest assessment of the news. Lord knows, we don't get it from FOX. This is just another example of how really off the mark the Republicans are about what is good for our country.

Posted by: janetal2004gmailcom | September 23, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Please delete duplicate post. Sorry about that.

Posted by: Garak | September 23, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

How about sending ICE into the farm fields at harvest time? We'd love to see all those right-wing Members of Congress who rant about "anchor babies" and the federal gov't not enforcing the law go ballistic when all those farmers on welfare have to make do with only legal workers.

There's probably a federal welfare program to help farmers who can't find enough undocumented workers to harvest their taxpayer-subsidized crops.

On second thought, how about sending those Members into the fields and let them do the work?

Posted by: Garak | September 23, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

How about sending ICE into the farm fields at harvest time? We'd love to see all those right-wing Members of Congress who rant about "anchor babies" and the federal gov't not enforcing the law go ballistic when all those farmers on welfare have to make do with legal workers.

There's probably a federal welfare program to help farmers who can't find enough undocumented workers to harvest their taxpayer-subsidized crops.

On second thought, how about sending those Members into the fields and let them do the work?

Posted by: Garak | September 23, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

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