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Anthony Bourdain Says ‘Every Restaurant in America Would Shut Down’ if Donald Trump Elected

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Celebrity chef and CNN host Anthony Bourdain says a Donald Trump presidency would spell disaster for the restaurant industry, which relies heavily on immigrant workers.

“If Mr. Trump deports 11 million people… every restaurant in America would shut down,” Bourdain told SiriusXM radio host Pete Dominick.

The Parts Unknown host hailed undocumented immigrants as the “backbone of the industry,” and noted that in most restaurants he’s worked in, “the person who’d been there the longest, who took the time to show me how it’s done was always Mexican or Central American.”

Bourdain said that when he was running his own restaurant, immigrant workers were often more willing to “just start at the bottom” than American workers were. “Never in any of those years… did any American-born kid walk into my restaurant and say, ‘I’d like a job as a night porter, or a dishwasher, even a prep cook,’” he said.

Trump has criticized U.S. immigration policy during his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, and has repeatedly promised to deport the millions of undocumented immigrants if he is elected.


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Write to Charlotte Alter at charlotte.alter@time.com