Last year, Motel 6 got caught in Phoenix, and now it appears that Washington state is next. On Wednesday, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued Motel 6 in King County Superior Court for providing guest lists (more than 9,000 names and information) to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“Motel 6 staff observed ICE identify guests of interest to ICE, including by circling guests with Latino-sounding names,” the lawsuit noted.
This is the lawsuit:
And here is Ferguson’s Wednesday press conference:
ICE Public Affairs Officer Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe shared the following statement with media:
Due to operational security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not typically disclose or discuss specific information related to the source of its enforcement leads. Further, ICE is not party to the litigation and as such, will not comment any further regarding the lawsuit.
The agency receives viable enforcement tips from a host of sources, including other law enforcement agencies, relevant databases, crime victims, and the general public via the agency’s tip line and online tip form.
In carrying out their immigration enforcement mission, ICE deportation officers make arrests nationwide every day as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to ensure domestic security, public safety, and the integrity of our nation’s immigration laws and borders. The agency’s immigration enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven, prioritizing individuals who pose a risk to our communities. It’s worth noting that hotels and motels have frequently been exploited by criminal organizations engaged in highly dangerous illegal enterprises, including human trafficking and human smuggling.
Motel 6’s corporate office issued this statement on Wednesday:
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.