Indian American actress Padma Lakshmi joined Samantha Bee to look into the lives of the 1.3 million undocumented immigrants who often work behind-the-scenes, in the country’s restaurant industry.
According to an Elle report, in a “Top Chef” parody episode of “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee,” Lakshmi and Bee talk about the impact of immigrants in the restaurant industry and how they leave their country to make a better living in the U.S. and are now fearing deportation.
“They’re really the unsung heroes of our food industry. I think they’re generally subjected to harsher conditions than people who have citizenship or their papers because they have very little legal recourse if they’re treated unfairly in the workplace,” Bee told Elle.
Lakshmi herself is an immigrant from India and is an ACLU ambassador for immigrant rights.
She told Elle how food itself is very important to an immigrant.
“Immigrants often hold on to their own food traditions very strongly because it’s a way to comfort themselves. It’s something that’s a common denominator,” she told Elle, adding how it has tied her daughter to the Indian roots.
Both Bee and Lakshmi have advocated for immigrant rights through the episode by showing how the restaurant industry would be handicapped without these immigrants.