Employees at two Motel 6 locations in Phoenix, AZ, called Immigrations and Customs Enforcement on guests they suspected of being undocumented immigrants, according to a report from the Phoenix New Times. The investigation was corroborated by Motel 6 on Wednesday evening.
Citing court records, New Times reporters found that ICE agents had made an unusually high number of arrests—20—at two Motel 6 locations in Phoenix between February and December. A clerk at one location confirmed that the motel had alerted ICE of guest lists daily. Many of the clerks at both locations said it was “unofficial” policy.
From the New Times report:
Unofficially, though, employees at both locations said it was standard practice to share guest information with ICE.
“We send a report every morning to ICE — all the names of everybody that comes in,” one front-desk clerk explained. “Every morning at about 5 o’clock, we do the audit and we push a button and it sends it to ICE.”
While some immigration attorneys theorized that franchise owners were accepting bribes from ICE agents — and, of course, rent from guests — the report indicated that both Phoenix locations are corporately owned.
Motel 6's corporate office indirectly acknowledged the veracity of the report’s claims in its response, shared on Twitter Wednesday evening. “This was implemented at the local level without the knowledge of senior management,” the statement read. “When we became aware of it last week, it was discontinued.”
“Discontinued” is a hell of a way to describe an organized effort to racially profile guests and subsequently report them to ICE, but the vague confirmation aligns with a notoriously acquiescent relationship with police requests.