Friday, September 24, 2010

Colbert’s immigrant labor message soars over the heads of bored Republicans

What promised to be an interesting appearance, Stephen Colbert did not disappoint the crowd, offering a comedy laced perspective of immigrant labor.

CNN: Colbert appeared before Congress the day after "The Colbert Report" showed video of him packing corn and picking beans on a farm as part of a challenge from a pro-immigrant-labor group.

"I'll admit I started my work day with preconceived notions of migrant labor," Colbert said. "But after working with these men and women ... side by side in the unforgiving sun I have to say -- and I do mean this sincerely -- please don't make me do this again. It is really, really hard."

United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez, whose group over the summer launched "Take Our Jobs," a campaign that challenged U.S. citizens to replace immigrants in farm work … says only seven citizens or legal residents have taken it up on the offer, argues that immigrant workers aren't taking citizens' jobs, and is pushing for a bill that would give undocumented farm workers currently in the United States the right to earn legal status.

Colbert: "My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants," he declared. "He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."

Republicans on the subcommittee were not impressed or swayed by Colbert's appearance. "Maybe we should be spending less time watching Comedy Central and more time considering all the real jobs that are out there -- ones that require real hard labor and ones that don't involve sitting behind a desk," said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.

Maybe King should watch more of the Daily Show and Colbert so that he might have a better understanding of the issues. Through humorous criticism, King might actually learn something.

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