Colbert tells Congress how he tried and failed to take an immigrant’s job

Now that Senate Democrats have indicated that they will not vote on whether to extend the Bush tax cuts before midterm elections, the biggest news in Washington today might be that Stephen Colbert, of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” is going to testify today before the House Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee hearing entitled “Protecting America’s Harvest.”

Colbert will appear before the House subcommittee alongside United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez, who was previously a guest on Colbert’s show. Rodriguez will likely talk about the UFW’s “Take Our Jobs” campaign, in which legal residents were given the opportunity to volunteer and replace migrant farm workers:

The UFW launched the campaign to counter claims that illegal immigrants are taking jobs from American workers — with the argument that most people would never take these jobs. Colbert signed up to be one of the few who did — for a day.

“Since we launched the “Take Our Jobs” more than three million people have visited our web site, www.takeourjobs.org. Of those visitors, 8,600 have expressed an interest in seeking employment as farm workers. Despite these numbers, only seven people have taken us up on the offer to take a job in agriculture,” the UFW said in a press release. “These numbers demonstrate that there are more politicians and finger-pointers interested in blaming undocumented farm workers for America’s unemployment crisis then there are unemployed Americans who are willing to harvest and cultivate America’s food.”

Colbert, apparently, was one of those seven people to sign up, and he aired footage of his experiences last night on his show. Needless to say, he didn’t last long.

The “Protecting America’s Harvest” hearing is scheduled to start this morning at 9:30.

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Jesse Zwick