This morning Stephen Colbert testified before the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law. The subject of the hearing was "Protecting America’s Harvest."
But before checking out today's hearing clip, let's put it into context:
Watch the July 8, 2010 episode of the Colbert Report here, featuring guest Arturo Rodriguez.
photo: Rodriguez & Colbert
In the interview they talk about their campaign "Take Our Jobs." Here's a summary of the campaign, from this Huffington Post piece:
So the group is encouraging the unemployed – and any Washington pundits or anti-immigrant activists who want to join them – to apply for the some of thousands of agricultural jobs being posted with state agencies as harvest season begins.
All applicants need to do is fill out an online form under the banner "I want to be a farm worker" on the website, and experienced field hands will train them and connect them to farms.
Check out the "Take Our Jobs" website here.
Now that you have the back story, check out Colbert's testimony from this morning's hearing:
Colbert mentions the AgJobs bill in his testimony. The bill would allow people who've worked in US agriculture for at least 150 days in the previous two years to get legal status. More info about the bill here.
Grabbed this from this Gawker.com post:
Apparently Colbert fans began lining up outside of Congress around 6:30 this morning for a chance to sit in on the jam-packed Judiciary subcommittee hearing. (The hearing wasn't scheduled to begin until 9:30am.)
This, by the way, was the best anecdote about congressional preparation for this hearing:
The subcommittee's ranking member, Rep. Steve King (Iowa), told The Hill he was unfamiliar with "The Colbert Report's" format, but he had asked his staff to pull some clips so he could watch them before the hearing. He was "especially" interested in "any where [Colbert] has mentioned me."
King, who worked in agriculture during his teen years, worried that Colbert would "try to give hard work a bad name."
The lawmaker also said he wouldn't hesitate to ask Colbert tough questions about agricultural policy.
"It'll be interesting to see what he does when faced with some of the data," King said, seemingly unaware that Colbert would be playing a satirical character.