Chef Jose Andres Adds Spice to the Immigration Debate

Jose Andres is a hot chef when it comes to immigration reform.

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Jose Andres at his Minibar restaurant in Washington on March 15, 2011.

Jose Andres is a hot chef when it comes to immigration reform. At Thursday night's Hispanic Heritage Awards, where even Voto Latino's Maria Teresa Kumar and political activist and actress Eva Longoria tiptoed around the immigration issue, Andres took a stand.

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"We need to remember that immigrants are not a garbage bag that we use when there is [a] need to take care of [a] farm or take care of a factory, but then we want to throw them out when there is no more fruit to pick up or no more cars to produce," the D.C.-based restaurateur told Whispers.

Taking the stage, Andres – who has a restaurant empire and is the chef often credited with bringing small plate dining, known as tapas in his native Spain, to the United States – said his award couldn't come at a better time.

"We are weeks away from becoming true American citizens," he said of he and his wife. "And if anyone has any doubt of what immigrants can be bringing to [this] country, especially in a country of immigrants, people like me are an example."

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When talking to Whispers, Andres wouldn't place blame on anyone for the current immigration impasse in Congress.

"I think the important thing here is to make sure that they are talking to each other," Andres said. "I think in life and especially in politics the perfect bill will be one that probably everybody is a little bit unhappy [with], so I love that we [would] achieve this moment where everybody is a little unhappy, but immigration reform would pass," he added.

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