#Motel6 has agreed to pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the budget motel chain of sharing personal guest information with U.S. immigration officials. The motels accused are located in Washington.
Motel 6 illegally shared the personal information of about 80,000 customers for more than two years, according to @abcnews. This practice caused “targeted” ICE investigation into guests with Latino-sounding names, according to the Washington state attorney general’s office.
What makes the accused even more guilty of this practice is that the operators at the seven Washington locations had voluntarily shared their guest lists with ICE agents, officials reported. This was an ongoing thing between February 2015 and September 2017, without requiring a warrant.
“Each time Motel 6 released a guest list, it included the private information of every guest at the hotel without their knowledge or consent, violating their expectation of privacy,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office said in a statement. “The Motel 6 guest information disclosures led to significant harmful consequences, including the detention and deportation of many guests and the suffering of their families.”
Some guests were approached by ICE agents and detained at Motel 6 properties and others were detained a few days after their hotel stay, according to officials.
One man was taken into custody at a Seattle location, where officials said he was staying for one night to wrap Christmas presents for his four children.
“ICE agents approached him in the hotel’s parking lot, detained him and deported him some days later. His wife had to retrieve the presents and his other belongings from the Motel 6 after his arrest,” the attorney general’s office said. “The man was the sole provider for the household, and his wife is currently struggling to support their toddler and four other children.”
Motel 6 admitted that at least six locations had shared personal guest information with ICE. Investigators later discovered that a seventh location had shared guest lists with ICE.
The personal information released to agents included customers’ names, driver’s license numbers, passport or green card information, room numbers, guest identification numbers, dates of birth and license plate numbers.
Motel 6 and parent company, G6 Hospitality, acknowledged the settlement in a statement to ABC News on Sunday night.
TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh