Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Stephen Colbert to testify to Congress Friday
by Larry Geller
Hawaii has been in the news spotlight as two farm worker human trafficking cases wend their way through the federal court in Honolulu. The latest coverage was this uncomplimentary New York Times opinion piece: In an Ugly Human-Trafficking Case, Hawaii Forgets Itself (NY Times, 9/20/2010).
A subtext is that American workers can’t be found do do this work. So Hawaii will be dependent on immigrant labor in one form or another if we want to expand agriculture in the state.
The reluctance of Americans to take these backbreaking jobs was also the theme on a recent segment of The Colbert Report. Now Colbert is being called to testify before Congress on the subject of immigrant labor.
On his show United Farm Workers president Arturo Rodriguez described a website the UFW put up to make a point:
“It’s inviting American citizens that want to work in the fields, that want to take those jobs, that want to do that agricultural work, to come out and do it. So we put up a website, takeourjobs.org and we’re inviting Americans throughout the United States to come and try to work in agriculture if they believe that immigrant farm workers are taking away good American jobs.” [The Daily Caller, Stephen Colbert to testify before House immigration subcommittee Friday, 9/22/2010]
At the time of the interview, only three people had signed up. Colbert said make it four, and did try his hand at a farm.
His testimony Friday should be interesting, at least.