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  • Padma Lakshmi is celebrating the fourth of July while sending a message.

    a tray of food? Padman Lakshmi/Instagram

    The Top Chef host tweeted a photo of a pie decorated to look like an American flag with “close the camps” written on top. “A truly American pie for the bbq today,” Lakshmi, 48, captioned the photo before tweeting again to ask her followers to, “Contact your representatives tomorrow and demand they #CloseTheCamps.”


    Lakshmi’s plea coincides with protesters across the country who are demanding the closure of detention facilities holding migrant children and families, according to CNN. Protests grew after a congressional delegation visited facilities and reported that migrants were being held in inhumane conditions, including being told to drink water from a toilet bowl (a charge U.S. Border Patrol Chief of Operations Brian Hastings called “completely untrue,” CNN reports.)

    Padma Lakshmi looking at the camera: Padman Lakshmi/Instagram? Provided by TIME Inc. Padman Lakshmi/Instagram


    This isn’t the first time Lakshmi has spoken out about immigration. The 48-year-old opened up about her own story while speaking at the VH1 Trailblazer Honors, saying she too was once separated from her family.


    “When I was two my mother left India to build a better life for us here in America while I stayed behind with my grandparents,” she said. “I was loved and safe. But still, I’d sit at the gates of my home every day, waiting for my mom to come home and take me back with her.”

    The?Top Chef host said she lived apart from her mother for two years before finally moving to America as a family — but the trauma of the situation lasted much longer.

    “It was confusing and anguishing,” she said. “I know firsthand what that trauma feels like and how long its devastating effects can last.”

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