At least two Arizona locations of Motel 6 had cooperated with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), sending agents guest lists that helped facilitate sting operations at the motels. The New Times reported that at least 20 illegal immigrants were arrested as a result.
Well, the Motel 6 corporate office caught wind of what was going on and has now announced that it will no longer share guests lists with ICE.
"This was implemented at the local level without the knowledge of senior management," Motel 6 said in an official statement. "When we became aware of it last week, it was discontinued." The Hill reports:
The New Times reported that ICE agents performed "knock and talks" at the locations after receiving the guest lists, which means officers show up at the hotel without a warrant and knock on doors asking permission to enter. If they are refused, they come back with a warrant.
"We send a report every morning to ICE — all the names of everybody that comes in," one 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 Phoenix-area immigration attorney also wrote the New Times in an email and reported that some of her clients "have heard (no telling how valid the info is) that ICE is paying $200 per person for the front-desk clerk to report."
ICE would not confirm the reports nor did it (rightfully) divulge how agents field their tips. While businesses, particularly hotels and motels, have an obligation to protect the privacy of their guests, our law enforcement members need the community's support and help in order to do their jobs and keep Americans safe. It seems playing politics was more important to Motel 6 executives.