Motel 6 Agrees To Pay $12M Settlement For Handing 80K Guests’ Info Over To ICE

Soap on sink at a Motel 6,  a low cost budget conscious hotel chain located in cities across the United States of America.
Soap on sink at a Motel 6, a low cost budget conscious hotel chain located in cities across the United States of America. (Photo by Julie Dermansky/Corbis via Getty Images)
April 8, 2019 12:05 p.m.

Motel 6 will pay a $12 million dollar settlement after the state of Washington sued the chain for giving guests’ information to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, according to the Washington attorney general.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office said in a press release last week that Motel 6 unlawfully disclosed information on approximately 80,000 guests, including names, driver’s license numbers, and passport/green card numbers. Seven different motels in Washington shared the info, according to the attorney general’s office.

Additionally, ICE agents “routinely” visited a couple of the motels from February 2015 through September 2017. The motels would give them guest lists with “Latino-sounding” names circled, and the agents arrested several guests afterward.

According to the release, the attorney general was prompted to investigate Motel 6’s relationship with ICE in 2017 after the motel reported a guest in Arizona to the immigration agency, leading to the guest’s arrest. The Phoenix New Times then found a pattern of ICE arrests at two of the chain’s motels in the state’s capital.

“Motel 6’s actions tore families apart and violated the privacy rights of tens of thousands of Washingtonians,” Ferguson wrote in the press release. “Our resolution holds Motel 6 accountable for illegally handing over guests’ private information without a warrant.”

H/t CNN.

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