Sunday, September 27, 2020

Motel 6 Sued For Identifying Latino Guests to ICE

The hospitality chain Motel 6 is facing another lawsuit alleging that it violated the civil rights of Latino immigrants by voluntarily giving guests’ personal information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

The lawsuit filed in Arizona by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund or MALDEF, on behalf of the guests says the hotel violated federal and state laws barring discrimination based on national origin, and protecting against unreasonable searches.

This is not the first time the hospitality chain faces these type of accusations. Earlier this month, Washington state officials also sued the company arguing violations of state consumer protection and anti-discrimination laws by employees in six Motel 6 locations.

At least six people suspected of being in the U.S. illegally were detained in Washington and eight were detained and one who was deported in Arizona.

In one case, a mother of four U.S.-citizen children checked into the Motel 6 Black Canyon in late June 2017 in order to escape the Arizona heat at their home. Before dawn, three ICE agents banged on her door identifying themselves as “police.” According to the lawsuit, ICE agents initially threatened to separate her from her children, and within days she was placed in deportation proceedings.

“[Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson] told reporters that employees of the national budget chain divulged the names, birthdates, driver’s license numbers, license-plate numbers and room numbers of more than 9,000 guests to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The agents did not have warrants.”

NPR