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Motel 6 Just Lost A Huge Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit After Giving Its Guest Lists To ICE

Photo by James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images

In one of those stories that will make you go, “WTF, USA?” Motel 6, a motel chain most famous for having consistent problems with bedbugs, will now be forced to pay out millions after challenging and losing a serious lawsuit.

What was the basis of the lawsuit?

Well, Motel 6 gave thousands of guests’ information out to Immigration And Customs Enforcement, or, ICE.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said on the case that Motel 6 shared the information of 80,000 guests over the course of two years—just in the state of Washington.

Other states, such as Arizona, have also fessed up to sharing information with ICE, a practice which “led to targeted investigations of guests with Latino-sounding names…detainment…deportation as a result of the disclosures.”

“Motel 6’s actions tore families apart and violated the privacy rights of tens of thousands of Washingtonians,” Ferguson stated.

“Our resolution holds Motel 6 accountable for illegally handing over guests’ private information without a warrant.”

Motel 6 has now signed a legally binding agreement that they will no longer disclose their guest lists to ICE.

“According to our interviews with employees at Motel 6,” Ferguson recounted:

“ICE agents would circle the names that looked Latino-sounding and ran those names through a database and then would detain individuals based on those random checks.”

One of the men Motel 6 sold to ICE was apprehended while wrapping Christmas presents for his children.

“ICE agents approached him in the hotel’s parking lot, detained him and deported him some days later,” Ferguson detailed.

“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 agreed to “train its employees” to not release names to anybody, and has opened a 24 hour hotline for help if information is requested.


Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.