Motel 6 hotels sending guest lists to ICE: report
At least two Motel 6 locations in Arizona are reporting their guest lists to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, which has resulted in at least 20 arrests, according to local media.
Phoenix New Times reported on Wednesday that two franchise locations of the motel chain are sending their guest lists to ICE agents “every morning,” and possibly receiving $200 per undocumented immigrant caught in the sting.
“We send a report every morning to ICE — all the names of everybody that comes in,” one front-desk clerk told the Times. “Every morning at about 5 o’clock, we do the audit and we push a button and it sends it to ICE.”
Immigration attorney Denise Aguilar wrote The New Times in an email 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.”
According to the Times, ICE agents perform “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.
“It’s not some big conspiracy,” ICE spokesperson Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe told The New Times. “If they’re given consent, then they can come in. If they’re not, then they can come back with a search warrant.”
The New Times reports there were at least 20 ICE arrests at the two Motel 6s between February and August.
Pitts O’Keefe refused to say where ICE gets their leads on where undocumented immigrants are staying.
“I wouldn’t be able to confirm how we are getting our information. Those are investigative techniques that we wouldn’t be able to talk about,” she told the Times.
“If hypothetically we were somewhere — if we did administratively arrest some folks — that happens all the time. We conduct targeted enforcement operations every day.”