With the status of many U.S. immigrants currently in jeopardy, Padma Lakshmi is taking a stand on their behalf.
The Top Chef host and producer recently became an ambassador for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). This was a decision she toldwas “pretty easy, because I’m seeing what’s going on in our political climate and it’s scary.”
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Speaking on the Emmy Awards red carpet in Los Angeles on Sunday, Lakshmi said, “I came to this country as an immigrant myself, and I think it’s important we remember that America is what it is because we’re a nation of immigrants. It’s also important for America to keep our word.”
Lakshmi feels particularly concerned about Trump’s current plan to eject immigrants who came to this country as children—called “DREAMers” after the DREAM Act—especially after Obama’s DACA legislation granted them the legal right to live and work in the U.S. “There are 800,000 DREAMers who are now in peril of being kicked out of the country and out of their jobs, and have nowhere to go,” Lakshmi said. “We told them it’s safe, we fingerprinted them, and now we’re saying, ‘No, you’re illegal again.’ It’s unthinkable.”
Plenty of celebs on the Emmy red carpet—Lakshmi included—were spotted wearing the distinctive ACLU blue ribbon pin, and she thinks that kind of support is vital. “I think we all need to speak out,” she said. “I think we’re all very fortunate. If you’re standing on a red carpet you’re very lucky, and should remember other people are not so lucky. Life is not the same experience for everybody, and that’s not fair.”