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Stephen Colbert at this morning's hearing.
Stephen Colbert will appear before a House subcommittee on immigration today. Colbert will appear, in character, with United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez. The United Farm Workers has launched an awareness campaign "Take Our Jobs" which challenges Americans to take up agricultural jobs often filled by illegal immigrants such as packing corn or picking beans. Colbert took up that challenge last night on his program.
Colbert's planned appearance met with disbelief and mockery on Fox News, and Colbert agreed with them saying his appearance will "sully the good name of experts that Republican-controlled Congresses have actually called to testify in the past, like Christie Brinkley, and Elmo."
Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) a member of the committee tweeted yesterday, "What a joke. All the serious issues and we have Colbert as an "expert". I am a fan of Colbert, but immigration expert???"
Update at 10:10 a.m. ET: C-SPAN is streaming the hearing here and the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security has posted his prepared statement here. In it, he actually seems to have stepped out of character — conceding that he's a satirist, but saying that his recent experience working 10 hours with migrant farm workers gave him a "sliver of insight" into their lives.
Update at 10:42 a.m. ET: Well, his prepared statement may have been out of character but his performance at the hearing itself was the Stephen Colbert we have all come to know and love, including his own family, the television character. "The obvious answer," he says, "is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. And if you look at the recent obesity statistics you'll see that many Americans have already started." He then proceeded to submit his colonoscopy into the congressional record. And that was only the beginning.
Update at 4:15 p.m. ET: Here is video of Colbert's testimony: