Documentary-maker Michael Moore has come to the aid of a Palestinian Oscar nominee and his family after they were detained by airport officials on arrival in the US.
Immigration at LAX reportedly refused to accept Emad Burnat's invitation to the ceremony as being genuine and threatened to send him and his family back to Turkey, where they had flown from.
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“Emad Burnat, Palestinian director of Oscar nominated '5 Broken Cameras' was held tonight by immigration at LAX as he landed to attend Oscars,” Moore wrote on Twitter.
“Emad, his wife & 8-yr old son were placed in a holding area and told they didn't have the proper invitation on them to attend the Oscars.”
After explaining that Burnat had shown officials his invite, Moore added: “That wasn't good enough & he was threatened with being sent back to Palestine.
“Apparently the Immigration & Customs officers couldn't understand how a Palestinian could be an Oscar nominee.”
Moore also revealed that Burnat had texted him when he ran into trouble at immigration, after which Moore, a governor of the Academy's documentary branch, then contacted the Academy's lawyers on his behalf.
Burnat and his family were allowed to enter the US after being detained for an hour-and-a-half.
“They told me that if I couldn't prove the reason for my visit, my wife Soraya, my son Gibreel and I would be sent back to Turkey on the same day,” Burnat told The Wrap.
“After 40 minutes of questions and answers, Gibreel asked me why we were still waiting in that small room. I simply told him the truth: 'Maybe we'll have to go back.' I could see his heart sink.”
“Although this was an unpleasant experience, this is a daily occurrence for Palestinians, every single day, throughout he West Bank,” he added.
“There are more than 500 Israeli checkpoints, roadblocks, and other barriers to movement across our land, and not a single one of us has been spared the experience that my family and I experienced yesterday. Ours was a very minor example of what my people face every day.”