Director Michael Moore is outraged ... claiming his friend -- a Palestinian director whose film is nominated for an Oscar -- was detained at LAX last night because officials didn't believe the man was REALLY in town for the Academy Awards.
Moore tweeted a play-by-play of the incident ... claiming his friend, Emad Burnat -- whose film "5 Broken Cameras" is nominated for Best Documentary Feature," was held for an hour-and-a-half while officials grilled him about his visit.
Moore tweeted, "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."
He continued, "Although he produced the Oscar invite nominees receive, 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. Emad texted me for help."
"I called Academy officials who called lawyers. I told Emad to give the officers my phone # and to say my name a couple of times."
"After 1.5 hrs, they decided to release him & his family & told him he could stay in L.A. for the week & go to the Oscars. Welcome to America."
"'It's nothing I'm not already used to,' he told me later. 'When u live under occupation, with no rights, this is a daily occurrence.'"
Moore concluded ... "He was certain they were going to deport him. But not if I had anything to do about it."
We've reached out to LAX and immigration officials -- so far, no comment.