Motel 6 faces second lawsuit over cooperating with immigration authorities

Motel 6 faces second lawsuit over cooperating with immigration authorities
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A civil rights organization is suing Motel 6 for its cooperation with federal immigration authorities by providing guest lists to immigration agents.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona this week.

The suit, filed on behalf of several guests, alleges that Motel 6 employees provided Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents with guest lists and accuses the hotel chain of violating state and federal laws that prevent discrimination on the basis of national origin and unreasonable search and seizure.

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The complaint identifies eight Latino plaintiffs, all Arizona residents who were detained by ICE agents as a result of Motel 6’s cooperation. At least one of the plaintiffs was subsequently deported.

The plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages from the lawsuit, as well as a declaratory judgment that Motel 6’s policy of providing guest lists to ICE agents violates federal and state lawsuits.

Earlier this month, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) sued the hotel chain over the same policy after six Washington locations provided ICE agents information on more than 9,100 guests.

“Washingtonians have a right to privacy, and protection from discrimination,” Ferguson said in a statement announcing the lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court. “I will hold Motel 6 accountable and uncover the whole story of their disturbing conduct.”

At the time, a spokeswoman for Motel 6’s parent company, G6, said the hotel chain had directed its locations to stop cooperating with federal immigration agents.

“In September, Motel 6 issued a directive to every one of our more than 1,400 locations, making it clear that they are prohibited from voluntarily providing daily guests lists to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Motel 6 takes this matter very seriously, and we have and will continue to fully cooperate with the Office of the State Attorney General,” the spokeswoman, Jillian Perera, said in an email.

ICE’s use of guests lists provided by Motel 6 was first reported in September by Arizona media outlets, which found that at least 20 people were arrested at Motel 6 locations by ICE agents.