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Colbert on Immigration Reform

I watched the entire two hours on CSPAN so you don’t have to. I have to say it’s interesting how completely defensive the witnesses were, both on the Republican (anti-immigrant) and Democrat (pro-immigrant) sides. I get that people have a point of view and an argument they’re trying to make, but when someone has a valid question you only make yourself look wrong by dodging it. The dissembling was worse on the Republican side, but only because it seems like the Dems asked tougher questions and the Republicans tended to just espouse a POV rather than ask questions.

Colbert’s statement was funny, and a little bit silly, and stated, “I endorse all Republican policies without question.” He had a couple zingers, but most of his testimony had genuine heartfelt and legitimate concerns behind it. This was part of his statement:

But maybe we could offer more visas to the immigrants who, let’s face it, will probably be doing these jobs anyway. And this improved legal status might allow immigrants recourse if they are abused. And it just stands to reason, to me, that if your coworker can’t be exploited, then you’re less likely to be exploited yourself. And that, itself, might improve pay and working conditions on these farms, and eventually, Americans may consider taking these jobs again.

The best part of the night was in response to why he cared about this issue, I found it incredibly touching.

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 in and do our work, but don’t have any rights as a result. And yet, we still invite them to come here, and at the same time, ask them to leave. And that’s an interesting contradiction to me, and um…

You know, “whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers,” and these seem like the least of our brothers, right now. A lot of people are “least brothers” right now, because the economy’s so hard, and I don’t want to take anyone’s hardship away from them or diminish it or anything like that. But migrant workers suffer, and have no rights.

Comments

  1. Dean says

    When I lived in Texas I saw these migrant workers sleeping on the side on the ground so they could send as much money as possible home to their families.

    They’re our neighbors and we don’t allow any more of them to legally immigrate than we do from Finland.

    It seems so obvious that issuing guest visas more freely would alleviate a lot of the problems surrounding migrant workers, but there’s this tribal mindset that causes many people to blame them for their own troubles.

    I’m so glad someone high-profile and respected like Colbert is taking this issue on.

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