Motel 6 Pays the Price for Allegedly Giving Guest Information to ICE

April 5, 2019, 4:06 PM UTC

Motel 6 will take a $12 million hit for allegedly sharing the personal information of about 80,000 guests with immigration officials without the knowledge or permission of those customers.

The chain has settled a lawsuit brought by the state of Washington over the controversial policy of seven of its hotels in that state between 2015 and 2017. The company has also said it will stop the practice of handing over guest information without a subpoena or warrant, unless it believes someone is in imminent danger.

Motel 6, as part of the agreement did not admit to wrongdoing, but the consent decree it signed included language reading “Motel 6 seeks to take corporate responsibility for past actions that adversely affected some of its customers, compensate those individuals who were harmed, and protect guest information with the integrity it deserves.”

The suit was originally filed last January by Washington state’s attorney general. Motel 6 is controlled by private equity firm Blackstone Group, which bought the brand in 2012.

Prior to Washington’s lawsuit, the chain reportedly followed the same practices in Arizona. A Sept. 13, 2017 report in the Phoenix New Times said ICE had arrested 20 people at Motel 6s there from February to August after getting tips from staff.