Video of Colbert Testifying Before Congress on AgJOBS

By now you probably have seen the video of Stephen Colbert testifying before Congress to raise awareness and support for the AgJOBS bill, which would help end the exploitation of immigrant farm workers.  Here’s the video of the funny satiric segment he opened with:

Here it is the video of the serious portion of Stephen Colbert’s testimony in support of AgJOBS:

Transcript via ThinkProgress of Colbert explaining why of all the issues, he chose AgJOBS to be a spokesperson for:

I like talking about people who don’t have any power and it seems like one of the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come and do our work but don’t have any rights as a result. But yet we still invite them to come here and at the same time ask them to leave. […] Migrant workers suffer and have no rights.

Here’s the segment Colbert did where he made fun of the vitriolic reaction right-wing conservatives over at Fox News had when they got word that he was actually testifying before Congress. On this same video, Stephen Colbert shows footage of the day when he went to do farm work labor to highlight just how hard and how thankless it is:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Fallback Position – Migrant Worker Pt. 2
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News

This latest Colbert antic was a follow up to the appearance of the President of the United Farm Workers of America on The Colbert Report show on Comedy Central:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Arturo Rodriguez
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News

Not only was this a very clever publicity stunt to bring attention to a very serious issue, it was quite effective at bringing more media attention to the AgJOBS bill than any other campaign has so far managed to garner.  In addition, this is very timely being that it happened on the heels of the DREAM Act vote that just took place in the Senate.  Just like with the DREAM Act, many immigration reform activists look at AgJOBS as a downpayment or first step towards a comprehensive immigration reform. 

So what is the AgJOBS bill, do you ask?  In essence, that bill is a bipartisan piece of legislation that would give some much needed respect and protection to farm workers for the hard and essential work they do and for the contribution they make to our economy in the U.S.  Here’s a more comprehensive explanation via Farm Worker Justice:

AgJOBS is a bipartisan bill that enjoys broad support in Congress. The AgJOBS compromise was carefully negotiated by the United Farm Workers and major agribusiness employers after years of intense conflict. AgJOBS is endorsed by major labor and management representatives, as well as a broad spectrum of organizations, including Latino community leaders, civil rights organizations, religious groups and farmworkers themselves.

The Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act (“AgJOBS”) represents a major compromise between farmworker advocates (led by the United Farm Workers) and major agricultural employers to address the agricultural immigration crisis.

AgJOBS would provide a legal, stable labor supply and help ensure that farmworkers are treated fairly.

The proposal contains two main parts:

(1) an “earned legalization” program enabling many undocumented farmworkers and H-2A guestworkers to earn a “blue card” temporary immigration status with the possibility of becoming permanent residents of the U.S. by continuing to work in agriculture and by meeting additional requirements; and

(2) revisions to the existing H-2A temporary foreign agricultural worker program.

You can sign up to support the United Farm Workers campaign for AgJOBS here.