The real Stephen Colbert
Comedy Central news anchor Stephen Colbert testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security today about his experience doing farm work with committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren earlier this year.
Colbert’s presence brought a much needed jolt of attention to the issue of comprehensive immigration reform, and his trademark satire exposed the argument of opponents as both uninformed and morally flawed.
Colbert impressively managed to stay in character for the majority of the hearing, but poignantly let down his guard to answer a final question from Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA). Asked why he was interested in working on this issue, Colbert, a Catholic, quoted from the familiar Gospel passage Matthew 25 to explain his desire to speak for the powerless.
COLBERT: I like talking about people who don’t have any power, and this seemed like one of the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come 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. That’s an interesting contradiction to me. And, 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 is so hard. And I don’t want to take anyone’s hardship away from them or diminish anything like that, but migrant workers suffer and have no rights.
I thought it was an inspiring answer and a great example of putting faith into practice.