Colbert’s clip on Thursday’s show of him picking vegetables alongside illegals was the first time I think someone showed the people who are always talked about in this issue. So imagine that – a debate that has been going on for years neglected to be covered by a video clips of the subjects in news reports.
As for Colbert’s testimony – I think his presence serves to make both parties look silly. These are called hearings, not "listenings", for a reason – the partisans who attend and speak all smile for the camera and repeat their talking points. The only difference here is that Colbert’s talking points are supposed to make you laugh, instead of angry, scared, or indignant. He obviously does care that the people in this issue who get the worst deal of all are the immigrants. At one point he said:
‘I like talking about people that don’t have any power and it seems like one of the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come and do our work 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.’
Some day this issue will appear in history books as a clear example that America’s propaganda to the world contradicted its internal policies. We say some freedoms are universal, and FDR articulated "four freedoms" in particular. These ought to apply to the world, but we are "exceptionalists" as a people because we don’t ask ourselves to make concessions that would grant other people those very freedoms. These immigrants would prefer to be treated better but are willing to accept a bad deal, like any group that faces well-organized opposition from a centralized power.