Stephen Colbert, UFW’s Rodriguez ask U.S. citizens to take farm jobs, urge Congress to pass immigration reform and AgJOBS Testifying at ‘Protecting America’s Harvest’ congressional hearing
9:30 a.m. Friday Stephen Colbert, UFW’s Rodriguez ask U.S. citizens to take farm jobs, urge Congress to pass immigration reform and AgJOBS Testifying at ‘Protecting America’s Harvest’ congressional hearing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez and comedian Stephen Colbert of “The Colbert Report” testify at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 24, before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International law in Room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Virginia apple grower Phil Glaize will also testify at the hearing entitled "Protecting America’s Harvest."
Rodriguez appeared on a segment of "The Colbert Report" and Colbert spent a day in August working at a corn and vegetable farm in New York state.
The UFW launched its national “Take Our Jobs” campaign on June 24, inviting U.S. citizens and legal residents to replace hundreds of thousands of immigrant field laborers, most of whom are undocumented. Since then, more than three million people have visited the campaign web site, www.takeourjobs.org. Of those visitors, 8,600 have expressed an interest in seeking employment as farm workers. Despite the numbers, only seven people have taken the UFW up on its offer to take a job in agriculture.
The farm worker population of the United States is overwhelmingly immigrant, with about 85 percent of the workers born outside of the United States, according to federal statistics. Today, the vast majority of farm workers are unauthorized, according to government statistics.
The UFW has negotiated the AgJOBS bill with the agricultural industry that would give undocumented farm workers presently here the right to earn legal status by continuing to work in agriculture. U.S. Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-Ca.) and Richard Lugar (R-In.) are principal co-authors in the Senate and U.S. Reps. Adam Putnam (R-Fa.) and Howard Berman (D-Ca.) are chief sponsors in the House.
Week of Action for AgJOBS Wednesday, Sept. 22
• ‘Take Our Jobs’ episode, airs on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central cable network on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 11:30 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times. Colbert interviews U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Ca.) on the need to reform our nation’s broken immigration system.Thursday, Sept. 23• Farm workers and agricultural employers visit congressional offices on Capitol Hill seeking support for AgJOBS from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• The ‘Take Our Jobs segment on The Colbert Report airs on the Comedy Central cable network at 11:30 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times highlighting Colbert taking up the challenge by working on a farm for a day.
Friday, Sept. 24
• The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law hosts a hearing entitled “Protecting America’s Harvest” on Friday at 9:30 a.m. The hearing focuses on food security in America.