Arizona Motel 6 Accused Of Tipping Off ICE On Undocumented Guests

A Motel 6 in Van Nuys is seen in a Google Maps Street View image from April 2017

A Motel 6 in Van Nuys is seen in a Google Maps Street View image from April 2017

The Phoenix New Times found ICE agents made at least 20 arrests between February and August and the two locations in question. "This was implemented at the local level without the knowledge of senior management", Motel 6 told BuzzFeed. Motel 6, book 4 nights and your 5th night is free (in a jail cell).

About six hours later, Rodriguez-Juarez says ICE agents knocked on the door, he admitted he wasn't documented to be in the USA and is now at the immigration detention facility in Florence.

So ICE teams show up, claiming to be "following a lead" or to have "received information", and then they go right to the doors of people who arouse the suspicions of motel clerks and demand papers.

Plenty of Mexican nationals carry ID cards from Mexico when they are in the United States, no matter how long they intend to stay.

Multiple Motel 6 chains in heavily Latino neighborhoods around Phoenix have been tipping off ICE agents when guests check in at their locations without citizenship documents. New Times was unable to find records indicating that ICE conducted arrests at other local motels during this same time period.

Another attorney who has seen several clients deported after arrests at motels told the New Times, "They get the list of people who are staying there, and they run them through to see who is wanted for warrants".

"We send a report every morning to ICE - all the names of everybody that comes in", the front-desk clerk told the outlet.

"I'm thinking to myself, 'How would they know that?'" he continued.

"I wouldn't be able to confirm how we are getting our information".

The extraordinary admission from Motel 6, which claimed that the policy was put in place locally in Arizona and has since been discontinued, has drawn widespread condemnation from civil liberties groups and has raised broader concerns about the way American corporations cooperate with law enforcement.

Law enforcement officials are barred by a 2015 Supreme Court ruling from forcing hotels to turn in guest information, which may suggest that the Motel 6 employees had volunteered to work with ICE agents.

Motel 6 is corporate owned, not franchised, so this is not a case of a largely unaffiliated manager going rogue to make double the rent on a room.

Immigration attorney Denise Aguilar, who is based in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler and represents a client taken in at a Motel 6, said she had heard unverified reports that ICE was paying front desk staff $200 per person for reports. Indeed, the representative would only speak "hypothetically" about vague "targeted enforcement" methods that are regularly employed.

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