Culture

'Top Chef's' Padma Lakshmi Burned Trump, Calls Him a 'Lunatic' Over Immigration Stance

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi made her beef with President Donald Trump apparent on Tuesday when she cooked up a delicious burn for him by calling him a "lunatic" over him declaring a national border security crisis.

Lakshmi, 48, is an Indian-born American and an ambassador for the American Civil Liberties Union. She immigrated to the United States when she was 4. During her Tuesday appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, she discussed her involvement with the ACLU and her thoughts on the controversial handlings with immigration under the Trump administration. 

"I'm an immigrant. I really came here with my mother, much like these people at the border," Lakshmi began, "What you have to understand is that, if a parent takes a child on a dangerous journey, puts them on their back, is willing to walk across deserts, that's because the place they're leaving is worse and more dangerous, and I just think we have plenty to share."

"If you look at all the contributions immigrants have made, you're basically looking at what America is today, in whole, full stop," she added.

Trump's presidential campaign promise was to have a wall built that separated Mexico's border from the U.S. This promise, in fact, led Trump to call for what proved to be a record-breaking partial government shutdown in December 2018. He's often deemed immigration in America as a "crisis."

Trump addressed the need for a border wall in January during the government shutdown. He deemed the situation occurring at the country's southern border a "crisis of the soul."

"In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings," he said. "Over the years thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don't act right now."

Lakshmi clarified what America's real "crisis" is, which she deemed to be Trump's role as president. "There's no crisis. There's no crisis. The only crisis is that we have a lunatic with a lot of power. That is the only crisis," she said.

Lakshmi is no stranger to addressing immigration. In June 2018, she wrote an essay for CNN on immigrant children being pulled away from their parents. She shared her own experience with being separated from her mother when she immigrated to the U.S. and how that experience is similar to what many immigrant children are experiencing in today's society.

"Every day, I'd sit on a step outside our house waiting for my mom to come back from work in America," she wrote. "The anguish of separation may have even contributed to a skin condition I developed around that time—terrible blisters all over my body in the summer heat, so bad my head had to be shaved."

Lakshmi continued: "Today, I am far removed from that lost little girl who desperately missed her mother. But as I watch the Trump administration forcibly separating children from parents as they make their way to the United States looking for refuge, my heart breaks."

Padma Lakshmi Slams Trump's Immigration Stance Padma Lakshmi is pictured attending The Cut's How I Get It Done at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge on March 4, 2019, in Brooklyn, New York. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for New York Magazine

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