Motel 6 Allegedly Sharing Guest Lists With ICE

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Employees at two Motel 6 locations in Phoenix are sharing guest lists with Immigration and Customs enforcement officers, according to a report.

The Phoenix New Times looked at court records over a six-month period from February to August 2017 and found that 20 arrests were made at the two locations.

The article noted that because information on ICE arrests is vague, the number is likely higher.

"We send a report every morning to ICE -- all the names of everybody that comes in," a front desk clerk told the New Times. "Every morning at about 5 o'clock, we do the audit and we push a button and it sends it to ICE."

A third of the cases identified by the New Times involved ICE agents coming across undocumented immigrants during so-called "knock and talk" inquiries. This refers to the practice of ICE personnel showing up without a warrant, knocking on the door, and asking to be allowed to enter the room.

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Robert McWhirter, a Phoenix-based attorney, said that if officers are knocking on the doors of people solely because they look Latino, it would raise concerns of racial profiling.

"We just don't know enough about what's going on," said McWhirter. "I'll tell you one ... thing for sure -- I'm not staying at a Motel 6 from now on."

In one case, three ICE agents arrested a man six hours after he checked in to a room at one of the Motel 6 locations. When staff asked him for identification, the man had shown them a Mexican voter registration card.

"I'm thinking to myself, how would they know that?" Juan Rocha, the man's attorney, told the New Times. "The client said he gave them a Mexican ID card -- but there's people who visit the U.S. all the time who have Mexican IDs. How does that establish that you're here without authorization?"

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Motel 6 said the reporting practice was adopted by staff at these two locations only and was not a company policy.

"Regarding recent media story on Phoenix-area location, this was implemented at the local level without the knowledge of senior management," a statement from Raiza Rehkoff, director of public relations and marketing for Motel 6, declared, according to HuffPost. "When we became aware of it last week, it was discontinued. We are currently investigating and will provide more information shortly."

Attempts by the New Times to obtain comments from Motel 6's media line proved unsuccessful.

HuffPost noted that ICE has expanded its efforts to detain undocumented immigrants since President Donald Trump took office in January. During Trump's first 100 days, arrests by ICE officers increased by 40 percent.

Sources: Phoenix New Times, HuffPost / Featured Image: U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons, U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

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