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Motel 6 Is In Big Trouble With Washington State

Washington's attorney general says Motel 6 locations illegally disclosed guests' private information to immigration enforcement agents.
Posted at 10:09 AM, Jan 04, 2018

Motel 6 is in big trouble with the state of Washington.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued the budget hotel chain Wednesday, saying it illegally disclosed the private information of thousands of guests to immigration enforcement agents for at least two years.

The lawsuit alleges U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents would visit Motel 6 locations in the state and request guest lists without a warrant or probable cause. It says the ICE agents would "[circle] guests with Latino-sounding names."

Despite Motel 6's privacy policy, Ferguson said at least 9,151 guests' private information was shared with ICE, violating the state's consumer-protection law. The company says ICE detained at least six of those people either on or near hotel property.

The Washington attorney general's office launched its investigation in September 2017 after news reports revealed two Motel 6 locations in Arizona also regularly handed over guest information.

Motel 6 admitted at least six of its 26 Washington locations gave information to ICE agents. The attorney general's office plans to investigate the other 20 hotels. The hotel chain says it told all locations they are prohibited from handing over guest lists to ICE and that it's cooperating with Ferguson's team.