Motel 6 employees have been tipping off Immigration and Customs Enforcement about undocumented immigrants.
In two Motel 6 locations in predominantly Latino parts of Phoenix, Arizona, at least 20 undocumented immigrants were arrested since the start of the year. First reported by the Phoenix New Times, motel employees reportedly shared guest information with ICE on a daily basis. Employees would do a daily audit of motel guests, which they sent to ICE. The agents showed up at the motels at a rate of nearly once every two weeks.
One front desk staff member told the New Times that they “send a report every morning to ICE — all the names of everybody that comes in. Every morning at about 5 o’clock, we do the audit and we push a button and it sends it to ICE.”
While police warrants are required to compel hotels to share guest information, hotels are legally permitted to volunteer the information. What’s more, New York Magazine reports that hotels are not obliged to inform the guests that their personal information will be shared with the authorities.
Although the actions of the Motel 6 employees are not technically illegal, the company said that its employees would no longer be reporting on undocumented immigrants to the authorities. In a statement shared on Twitter, Motel 6 alleged that it had been “implemented at the local level without the knowledge of senior management. When we became aware of it last week, it was discontinued.”
Yet this is not the first time a Motel 6 location has shared hotel guest information with the authorities. In 2015, a Motel 6 in Rhode Island sent the name of hotel guests to the local police department, which they used to check against outstanding warrants.
Motel 6 is owned by Blackstone Group (bx).