Farm Workers and Colbert Team Up: Want a Migrant Worker's Job? Come and Get It

Jun 25, 2010
Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart.
Stephen Colbert has his eye on you. (Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Calling all Americans! Do you think undocumented migrant workers are taking your jobs? Stephen Colbert and the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) are teaming up to tell people, 'If you want an immigrant farm worker's job, come on over and get it.'

To make their point, they've even created a website called Take Our Jobs where you can sign up to be a farm worker. Once signed up, a farm worker will train applicants and connect them to a working farm, where it will be time to put up or shut up.

For the United Farm Workers of America, the country's largest farm workers' union, what's missing in the debate over whether undocumented immigrants are taking work that should go to Americans is the recognition that most of the food we eat comes from the labor of undocumented workers. Overall, three-quarters of crop workers in the country are not from the U.S.

Low wages, long hours and harsh working conditions are a reality for these migrant workers. Not to mention the effects of breathing in pesticides and other chemicals for around 12 hours a day.

If you do sign up to be a farmworker, the disclaimer on the UFW site states:

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.

The campaign will for sure make a statement and, hopefully, what will come out of it is safer and better working conditions for farm workers, documented or not.

If Colbert and UFW can give politicians an extra push toward dealing with immigration reform, that wouldn't hurt either.

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