John Oliver pointed out Sunday night that a lot of American food is still picked by hand — and most of those hands belong to some of the country’s most abused people: migrant farm workers.
They are so important that they have been called “essential workers” during the coronavirus pandemic.
“However, we claim they are necessary, we certainly do not treat them as such,” he said, noting that they are among the lowest paid workers in the country while facing dangerous working conditions ranging from natural disasters to pesticide exposure to horrible bosses.
That extends to when they’re not even working, where many are put into living conditions so poor that one location Oliver found actually operates as a haunted house on Halloween.
“It’s horrible,” Oliver said, after showing footage of some of those living conditions. “No one is going to see that and say, ‘This is a good place to live.’ They might say, ‘This is a nice place for ghosts to puke’ and that’s it.”
Oliver advocated for better conditions and a path to citizenship for the farm workers who provide much of the nation’s food.
“Farm laborers provide this country with our most basic needs, and in return we act as if they are either unimportant or non-existent,” he said. “The message we sent them was constantly: ‘Don’t count.'”
Watch more from Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight”:
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