Category Archives: undocumented workers

Colbert’s opening statement to House Judiciary Committee

Colbert made many valid points, but my question is this: Did they, meaning the Congress Critters, take him seriously as he was ‘in character’ and had some really asinine remarks in between his facts, like agriculture is planted at ground level and this practice needs to change. Watch it below and you tell me.

You can watch the entire hearing here on CSPAN.

Update: Both video’s courtesy of TPMTv. Here is Colbert being questioned by Congress Critters. He doesn’t seem to have much, if any, information when asked specific questions. If it’s a joke, it’s on Congress for allowing him to testify.

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Stephen Colbert to testify before Congress..no kidding!

He will be there on behalf of the UFW (United Farm Workers) according to HuffPo:

Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert will be testifying before Congress on Friday about immigration during a hearing called “Protecting America’s Harvest.”

Colbert will be appearing with United Farm Workers (UFW) President Arturo S. Rodriguez before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law. In August, the comedian spent a day working at a corn and vegetable farm in New York state after Rodriguez appeared on his show to discuss UFW’s “Take Our Jobs” campaign.

The effort was intended to debunk the theory that undocumented immigrants are taking jobs away from American citizens and highlight the fact the nation’s food supply is dependent on these farm workers. “Farm workers are ready to welcome citizens and legal residents who wish to replace them in the field,” said the UFW site. “We will use our knowledge and staff to help connect the unemployed with farm employers.”

Out of the 8600 visitors to the UFW site, TakeOurJobs.org, that have actually expressed interest in becoming farm workers, only seven have actually taken the backbreaking job of being a farmworker. The site has had over three million hits to date.

Colbert’s stint as a farmworker will air on his show, The Colbert Report, this evening, September 22nd. Must see tv I would say. According to The Daily Caller, Colbert will be appearing before Congress, in character.  Personally, I feel this issue is no laughing matter and what Colbert thinks he can accomplish whilst pulling his shtick is beyond me. But I will watch the Colbert Report tonight and I hope CSPAN will air the hearing Friday.

Is Ernie Istook smoking crack?

And his buddy John Bohner as well…wtf is up w/these two fuckwits and their hatred of the 14th Amendment to our Constitution? Ernie is a member of Nutter University, otherwise known as the Heritage Foundation. Watch him spew his fuckery below:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

It’s always the undocumented folks fault. Why in the blue hell isn’t it the assholes that hire them who should be tarred and feathered, not to mention brought up on charges. These people would not be coming from 1000’s of  miles away if there weren’t any jobs!!! They come up here and work for shit wages that NO american will do for the wages paid.

So, a hearty FUCK You Ernest Istook! You are our Fuckwit of the Week!

TakeOurJobs.Org- put your $ where your mouth is nutters!

This action was started here in my little burgh of Bakersfield, CA or more specifically Keene, CA which is home to the UFW headquarters. The United Farm Workers (UFW) created this website and now Steven Colbert is doing a piece on it…which as most know…has a humor slant but it’s always based in reality.

This morning, it was reported on our local news, Channel 29 KBAK, that over 5,000 people have ‘signed up’ on the website as of today…BUT:

Only three have actually followed through to actually apply for employment as a field worker…aka a farm worker, harvesting fruits and veggies. I have performed this type of work as a teenager, so I ain’t no bleeding heart liberal whining about how hard the farm workers have it. But I am of course a bleeding heart liberal. 😉

From their website, some facts:

There are two issues facing our nation–high unemployment and undocumented people in the workforce–that many Americans believe are related.

Missing from the debate on both issues is an honest recognition that the food we all eat – at home, in restaurants and workplace cafeterias (including those in the Capitol) – comes to us from the labor of undocumented farm workers.

Agriculture in the United States is dependent on an immigrant workforce. Three-quarters of all crop workers working in American agriculture were born outside the United States. According to government statistics, since the late 1990s, at least 50% of the crop workers have not been authorized to work legally in the United States.

We are a nation in denial about our food supply. As a result the UFW has initiated the “Take Our Jobs” campaign.

Farm workers are ready to welcome citizens and legal residents who wish to replace them in the field. We will use our knowledge and staff to help connect the unemployed with farm employers. Just fill out the form to the right and continue on to the request for job application.

** Job may include using hand tools such as knives, hoes, shovels, etc. Duties may include tilling the soil, transplanting, weeding, thinning, picking, cutting, sorting & packing of harvested produce. May set up & operate irrigation equip. Work is performed outside in all weather conditions (Summertime 90+ degree weather) & is physically demanding requiring workers to bend, stoop, lift & carry up to 50 lbs on a regular basis.(emphasis mine)

I have blogged and publicly spoke out, ad nauseum, about the plight of the farm worker, undocumented or not. I have done this for decades as a native Californian and Hispanic woman. How they work ten hours or more a day (without overtime), in 100+ degree heat. How the labor laws always have special ‘rules’ that usually make the farm workers a class of worker that isn’t covered by the basic human rights or wage sections of said laws. This is no bullshit folks….farm workers are usually exempt from many if not most of the protections offered the rest of us as employees.

Most of the responses they have gotten on their website are disgusting, evil, hate-filled comments from rightwing nutters who have no fucking clue.

Every summer here there are dozens of deaths recorded of farm workers that die from heat exhaustion or because a farmer knowingly had a field sprayed with pesticides while humans were working in it. No one is ever prosecuted for these deaths. No ONE.

Spread the word and watch Colbert’s report please….they need all the help and press they can get. If all farm workers who were undocumented left tomorrow…we would start paying 10 bucks a head for iceberg lettuce and who knows what for other produce that we all as Americans, take for granted.

Photo is by the great photographer Ansel Adams

The DOJ’s suit against AZ: A BLT perspective

The DOJ’s 25-page complaint can be read here (PDF). From the BLT (Blog of the Legal Times) comes this explanation of the suit:

The lawsuit makes sweeping claims about the federal government’s power to develop immigration policy. It cites the federal government’s power under the Constitution to establish a “uniform Rule of Naturalization” — translating, it says, to the regulation of aliens within U.S. boundaries and to the terms and conditions for entry and continued presence.

With the State Department joining as a plaintiff, the lawsuit also cites the president’s authority over foreign affairs. “Immigration law, policy, and enforcement priorities are affected by and have impacts on U.S. foreign policy, and are themselves the subject of diplomatic arrangements,” it says.

Together with the complaint, the department is filing a 58-page motion (PDF) for a preliminary injunction. The law is scheduled to go into effect July 29.

*snip*

The DOJ lawsuit does not seek to invalidate the entire Arizona immigration law, known as S.B. 1070. It targets sections 1 through 6 of the law (PDF), leaving alone sections about employment and the impounding of vehicles. By contrast, the complaint (PDF) filed by in May by the ACLU and others asks to have the law struck down in its entirety.

The BLT is a great resource for breaking down legal mumbo-jumbo for non-legal minded folks. I get their daily breaking newsletter.

So, Holder and Company, unlike the coalition of rights groups (ACLU,the NAACP, and the National Immigration Law Center) are not seeking to kill the entire bill….interesting. As for who is representing whom…here is the list, also from the BLT article:

To defend the state, Brewer has hired John Bouma, chairman of Snell & Wilmer in Phoeniz, because Arizona’s attorney general, Terry Goddard III (D), has removed himself.

Five DOJ lawyers have their names on the complaint: Assistant Attorney General Tony West, who heads the Civil Division; U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke; Arthur Goldberg, an assistant director in the Federal Programs Branch; and trial attorneys Varu Chilakamarri and Joshua Wilkenfeld.

Bouma is a big gun, according to his bio at Snell & Wilmer. He is also a conservationist I noticed. AZ’s Attorney General Goddard, didn’t have a whole lot of nice things to say about Governor Brewer in the AZ Central article linked above. Gov Brewer threatened to shit-can AG Goddard over this entire fiasco. Quite telling I think, don’t you?