Yesterday evening, Scott Douglas, executive director of Greater Birmingham Ministries, made an appearance on the Colbert Report to discuss Alabama’s monster immigration law, HB 56. On the day Americans were celebrating the memory of our nation’s greatest civil rights leader, Douglas invoked the great leader himself: “No document produced by human hands should make anyone feel less than human,” he quoted MLK Jr. as once saying. Of the Alabama immigration law: “It really attacks the weakest members of our society, undocumented immigrants who cannot vote,” said Douglas.
Stephen Colbert has done various segments on immigration. In 2010, he worked a day as a migrant worker as part of the United Farm Workers “Take Our Jobs” campaign, which was intended to show that immigrants are not taking American jobs. Shortly after, Colbert testified in front of Congress saying, according to the Washington Post:
“Americans may consider taking jobs once conditions are better,” Colbert continued, sarcasm creeping across his face. “I trust both sides will work on this together in the best interests of the American people — as you always do.”
The host, who went for a minute sans his right-wing pundit persona in front of Congress, explained his reason for testifying on behalf of immigrants:
“I like talking about people who don’t have any power,” he said, the bravado gone from his voice as he worked his way to a downer of a punch line. “It seems like the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come here. . . . And at the same time, we invite them here and ask them to leave. . . . I don’t want to take anyone’s hardship away from them [but] migrant workers suffer and have no rights.”
And in October 2011, shortly after the passing of HB 56, Colbert did a short segment on Alabama and the damage the state’s anti-immigrant law has had on the state’s tomato crops, bragging to America with a really big banner:
“I’m not the kind of guy who says, ‘I told you so.’ I’m the kind of guy who makes it a banner,” he said as an “I TOLD YOU SO!” banner unfurled behind him.
“To preserve our precious BLTs, we must do whatever it takes, other than offer these people any right,” said Colbert during the episode.