Recently, Stephen Colbert worked side by side with migrant farm workers for a day. The United Farms Workers have challenged Americans to sign up to work in the fields with a “Take Our Jobs” campaign.
One of the frequent complaints that some people have with immigrants, both legal and illegal, is that “they come here and take our jobs.” Yes, they do come here for jobs, but more often than not, the jobs they work are the ones that most Americans don’t want.
Colbert didn’t leave behind his trademark sarcasm when he testified before Congress about his experience in the fields. In his opening remarks he said, “The obvious answer [to our dependency on immigrant labor] is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. And, if you look at the recent obesity statistics, you’ll see that many Americans have already started.”
The majority of his testimony has a sarcastic edge. It’s not as biting as his normal sarcasm on "The Colbert Report" (I often need to remind my 11-year-old when we’re watching it that Colbert almost always believes the opposite of what he is saying), but it’s an effective way, although it’s not a conventional way, to point out the hardships that the migrant farm workers face.
After his remarks, Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-Calif), asked the comedian why he chose to champion this particular cause. Here’s his answer.
"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."