Motel 6 accused of giving immigration officials information on guests

Washington’s state attorney general filed suit against Motel 6, accusing the chain of giving information to immigration officials even if the people reported did not have a warrant against them.

This was especially true of anyone with a Latino-sounding name.

In September, two Arizona locations were discovered to have been funneling information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents looking for illegal immigrants. However, Motel 6 denied the claims, saying that the information had been exchanged at “the local level without the knowledge of senior management.”

–Student tries to get undocumented girl deported, he gets expelled instead–

 

Practice is spreading

But Atty. Gen. Bob Ferguson of Washington State launched his own investigation, and he said on Wednesday that he found Motel 6 locations practicing information sharing in his state, too.

“It was not isolated to two motels in Phoenix, not by a long shot. The company’s actions were methodical. They trained their new employees on how to do this,” Ferguson said. “We’re going to find out who at Motel 6 knew what, and when they knew it.”

According to Ferguson, Motel 6 employees admitted to investigators that “the ICE agents circled any Latino or Latina-sounding names on the guest registry, and returned to their vehicles” so that they could run background checks on those names.

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Motel 6 responds

The motel chain said that it had ordered employees in September not to hand over information on people who did not have a warrant out against them.

“Motel 6 takes this matter very seriously, and we have and will continue to fully cooperate with the Office of the State Attorney General,” the company said.

ICE spokeswoman Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe said that she would not “disclose or discuss specific information related to the source of its enforcement leads.”

She did add, however, “It’s worth noting that hotels and motels have frequently been exploited by criminal organizations engaged in highly dangerous illegal enterprises, including human trafficking and human smuggling.”

The post Motel 6 accused of reporting Latino-sounding names to immigration officials appeared first on theGrio.

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