Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Mike's Letter

April 26th, 2000 12:00 AM

A Victory for the Holiday Inn Workers, Thanks to You (Now Let's Run a Ficus for Congress!)

Dear Friends,

We won!

Not only has Elian Gonzales been reunited with his father (my only criticism of the raid and that photo on Saturday is that the gun wasn't big enough), but our Mexican friends in Minneapolis who were being deported for starting a union have won their fight to stay in the United States!

At the INS hearing yesterday, after being deluged with thousands of your letters, plus the hard work of a lot of good people in the Twin Cities, the immigration judge ruled in favor of the 8 Mexican housekeepers, declaring that they should be made "legal."

You have no idea how stunning this decision is. Last week, after interviewing the people at the INS in Minneapolis, it was clear that these immigrants (who were being punished because they successfully formed a union at the Holiday Inn where they worked) were going to lose. That is why I wrote to ask you to flood the INS and the Justice Department with e-mail. But within 24 hours of my letter to you, those two federal agencies became quite busy with the nuttiness in Miami. I figured that our letters to them would get lost in all the distraction.

But they didn't. By yesterday, the INS had received tens of thousands of e-mails, eloquent pleas from those of you who asked that these 8 Mexican workers be given the same chance most of our ancestors got when they came to America.

Well, it worked. I can't thank you enough for taking a few minutes to lend a hand. I continue to be amazed at the power of the Internet. A few years ago, we never would have been able to respond so quickly to a problem, let alone even hear about it. We must try to keep the Internet in the hands of the people and free of government and corporate control. This is a powerful tool.

The Mexicans have received what is called "deferred status," meaning they can stay and work legally until such time they can be upgraded to perhaps a green card or even citizenship. This is a huge victory. Thanks again to all of you plus the lawyers and church people in Minneapolis who gave their time.

You can see the whole story -- plus how we punished Holiday Inn in our own "special way" -- on an upcoming episode of "The Awful Truth" (which premieres in three weeks on Wednesday, May 17, 10pm ET/PT on Bravo).

And, speaking of "The Awful Truth," we are holding a press conference to formally announce the "candidate" we are running for Congress -- a Ficus plant. That's right. We are running a potted plant for the U.S. House of Representatives. We believe a Ficus will do less harm than many politicians. Since word leaked out about us trying to get a Ficus on the ballot, over 20 other people around the country have also announced campaigns to get Ficuses elected in their districts.

If you would like to get on board the potted plant bandwagon and run a write-in campaign in your district, please read the press release. We are shooting all this for "The Awful Truth," and it is our hope to see Ficuses and other houseplants giving incumbent Congressmen who face little or no opposition a run for their money. 95% of all incumbents get re-elected and many of them run unopposed. It is not healthy in a democracy to hold elections with only one name on the ballot. We believe the country would be better off with a Ficus tree sitting in Congress than some of these clowns. So, check out our website Ficus2000.com and send us a photo or video of the houseplant you are running for Congress and we'll put it on our show.

Thanks again for your help!

Yours,
Michael Moore
mmflint@aol.com

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