Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert is slated to testify at a congressional hearing Friday on immigration titled “Protecting America’s Harvest.”
One Republican source said Colbert will be testifying “in character,” the Bill O’Reilly-like muse Colbert uses for his show.
A House Judiciary Committee spokeswoman, confirming Colbert would testify, said the hearing matter was a “serious issue . . . this is not a TV stunt.”
Some Republicans have already expressed unhappiness with Colbert witnessing at the hearing, thinking it would make light of a serious issue.
The hearing is before the House Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee.
Colbert has also been making requests to some congressional offices to film his famous “Better Know a District” segments.
The Back Story
In July, Colbert interviewed United Farm Workers (UFW) President Arturo Rodriguez on his show.
UFW works to legalize the millions of illegal immigrants working in the agriculture sector, and Rodriguez promoted one of their projects, “Take Our Jobs” which offers Americans the chance to try working in the fields if they really think good jobs are being lost to illegals.
In the interview, Colbert challenged Rodriguez with playful caricatures of anti-illegal immigration groups, for instance telling him that “They’re taking our jobs! Those jobs belong to American farm workers!”
Rodriguez replied, “Americans don’t want to work in the fields. It’s very difficult work, it requires a lot of expertise, and the conditions are horrid,” describing a recent day in which the temperature was in excess of 100 degrees.
Colbert retorted, “it was over 100 degrees this entire week here, I did my show, 22 minutes a night!”
Rodriguez then touted the Take Our Jobs initiative.
“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.”
Colbert asked how many people had taken up the offer. The answer was three, so Colbert said “Make that four, I’ll do it.”
Since then Colbert reportedly participated in Take Our Jobs, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chairman of the immigration subcommittee, was there for that day.
Sources said the plan for Colbert to testify arose out of Colbert and Lofgren sharing that day together.