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Anthony Bourdain to Donald Trump: Immigrants are the backbone of the restaurant industry

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Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Bad-boy celebrity chef and CNN television traveler Anthony Bourdain has never been one to mince words, whether he’s feuding with food-world personalities, calling out rival cable channels, or wading into international politics.

Most recently, the Parts Unknown host expressed his support for undocumented immigrants during an interview with Pete Dominick on SiriusXM radio.

Asked about presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s controversial plan to erect a border wall with Mexico and deport millions of people living in the U.S. without authorization, Bourdain referenced his three decades in the restaurant business, which leans heavily on immigrant labor.

“Like a lot of other white kids, I rolled out of a prestigious culinary institute and went to work in real restaurants,” Bourdain said. “I walked into restaurants and the person always who’d been there the longest, who took the time to show me how it was done, was always Mexican or Central American.”

He went on to call immigrants “the backbone of the industry” and added, “If Mr. Trump deports 11 million people or whatever he’s talking about right now, every restaurant in America would shut down.”

Not that Bourdain is against immigration reform altogether. “Serious minds can honestly disagree over what we want to do in the future as far as how tightly we want to control our borders and how many people we want to let in,” he said. “But for the people who’ve been living here, and who are so much part of our lives, and who have done nothing but do their best to achieve the American dream … there should be an easy path to legality.”

Listen to Bourdain’s remarks above.