Stephen Colbert references his Irish roots in Congress immigration hearing
Comedian and host of "The Colbert Report", Stephen Colbert, gave testimony at the U.S. House subcommittee on immigrant farm labor making reference to his own great-grandfather who traveled from Ireland to start a life in America.
His testimony was filled with one-liners and jokes but, as always, the patriotic conservative commentator got his message across.
He commented that American farms had become far too dependent on foreign laborers saying that his great-grandfather had not come from Ireland to see America "overrun by immigrants." He added that he left "because he killed a man back in Ireland."
The hearing was called to address the ongoing problem: American growers need seasonal laborers, but many of those who take the jobs do not have documentation.
He said that American farms relied on foreign laborers to pick fruit. "Now the obvious answer 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 already have started," he said.
"I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American, then sliced by a Guatemalan and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian," he said, according to a Washington Post report.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), as the chairwoman of the immigration and citizenship subcommittee invited Colbert to speak. His appearance caused such a disturbance that the Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) asked him to leave saying "You run your show, we run the committee." Lofgren motioned for Colbert to stay in the room and Conyers withdrew his request.
Not since the impeachment of Bill Clinton has such a large crowd been gathered in the hearing room said Lofgren.
Colbert was joined by Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers Union. He recently spent a day picking vegetables on a farm in New York. He said that it was incredibly hard word and "I don't even want to watch Green Acres again."
At the end of his testimony he told the gathering that he would be happy "to take your questions and pose for pictures with your grandchildren."
Colbert and his mock rival, Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show", will be back in Washington on October 30 where they will hold competing rallies on the national Mall.
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