On Wednesday, a report surfaced alleging that two Motel 6 locations were tipping off immigration officials about suspected illegals staying at their hotels, resulting in at least 20 arrests. Motel 6 has since issued a statement the practice has been “discontinued.”
According to a review of court documents by the Phoenix New Times, between the months of February and August, ICE made arrests at two Phoenix Motel 6s approximately every two weeks.
One front-desk worker told the Phoenix New Times that the motels did an “audit” of its customers daily and sent the results to ICE.
“We send a report every morning to ICE — all the names of everybody that comes in,” the unnamed employee claimed. “Every morning at about 5 o’clock, we do the audit and we push a button and it sends it to ICE.”
Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe, a spokesperson for ICE’s division in Phoenix, told the Phoenix New Times that she could not discuss how ICE is getting their information, but that ICE “conduct[s] targeted enforcement operations every day.”
“I wouldn’t be able to confirm how we are getting our information,” she said. “Those are investigative techniques that we wouldn’t be able to talk about.”
“If hypothetically we were somewhere — if we did administratively arrest some folks — that happens all the time. We conduct targeted enforcement operations every day,” she explained.
However, immigrant attorney Denise Aguilar claimed that one of her clients said ICE has been paying people $200 for information, though she admitted that might have been a lie.
“They have heard (no telling how valid the info is) that ICE is paying $200 per person for the front-desk clerk to report,” Aguilar said.
Despite the possibility that both of the claims asserted in the article are not true, the ACLU issued a campaign against Motel 6 on social media:
Between February and August, ICE made at least 20 arrests at these Motel 6s, showing up roughly every two weeks. https://t.co/iAohLI7HC4— ACLU National (@ACLU) September 13, 2017
After the uproar, including a “#BoycottMotel6” hashtag, Motel 6 claimed the nonspecific practice was “discontinued” in the previous week:
Statement Regarding Recent Media Reports on Phoenix-area Location pic.twitter.com/MPxaspNA6b— Motel 6 (@motel6) September 14, 2017
In a follow-up piece, the Phoenix New Times wrote, “Couple of quick points: One, Motel 6 is not denying that it had been sharing guest information with ICE, which is interesting.”
They also asked a few questions about Motel 6, including the question, “Why exactly was Motel 6 collaborating with ICE in the first place?”
Perhaps because immigration is a federal matter, and not up to Motel 6.
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