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Motel 6 Settles Immigration Lawsuit

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Date08 Apr 2019
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Motel 6 has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by Washington state alleging the hotel chain improperly provided immigration officials with the names of guests.

According to Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the information the hotel chain gave out resulted in targeted investigations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, who went after individuals with Latino-sounding names.

“Motel 6′s actions tore families apart and violated the privacy rights of tens of thousands of Washingtonians,” Ferguson said in a statement. “Our resolution holds Motel 6 accountable for illegally handing over guests’ private information without a warrant.”

Between 2015 and 2017, four of the six corporate-owned locations that gave information to the federal agency released over 9,150 names.

In one case, a Seattle man who stayed at a Motel 6 was stopped in a parking lot by ICE agents as he wrapped Christmas presents for his kids. He was detained and deported just a few days later. Because he was the only provider for his family, his wife has had difficulty supporting the kids.

In a separate case, a Vancouver man who had resided in the U.S. for over 20 years was detained after staying at a Motel 6 on a trip to get supplies for his grocery business. He was later deported and left behind a wife and six kids.

Motel 6 has agreed to pay $12 million to settle the lawsuit. The hotel chain also said that it will enforce its guest privacy policy and implement controls to ensure corporate oversight and compliances when law enforcement requests are made.

“The safety and security of our guests, which includes protecting guest information, is our top priority, and we are pleased to be able to reach resolution in this matter,” the company said.

In the agreement, Motel 6 is also required to create an online tool for guests to report incidents where they believe the hotel shared guest information.

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