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Motel 6 to Pay $12M After Sharing Latino Guest Information with ICE

Motel 6 To Pay $12 Million Settlement For Giving Guest Information To ICE
CUTLER BAY, FLORIDA – APRIL 08: A Motel 6 is seen on April 08, 2019 in Cutler Bay, United States. Motel 6 has agreed to pay a $12 million settlement after the state of Washington sued the chain for providing customer information to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

*Motel 6 has agreed to pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit after several Washington state locations illegally shared personal guest information with U.S. immigration officials, per msn.com.

According to the report, about 80,000 customers had their info leaked which resulted in a “targeted ICE investigation into guests with Latino-sounding names.”

The Washington state attorney general’s office confirmed that seven locations had voluntarily shared guest lists with ICE agents between February 2015 and September 2017.

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“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.”

The illegal disclosures led to ICE detaining some guests at Motel 6 properties, while others were separated from their families. One man was reportedly taken into custody at a Seattle location where he was staying to wrap Christmas presents for his children, officials said.

“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.”

Seven of the budget motels, which has more than 1,400 U.S. locations, “shared personal guest information with ICE, including customers’ names, driver’s license numbers, passport/green card/other ID numbers, room numbers, guest identification numbers, dates of birth and license plate numbers,” the report states.

Motel 6 and its parent company, G6 Hospitality, acknowledged the settlement in a statement to ABC News:

“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,” a company spokesperson said. “As part of the agreement, Motel 6 will continue to enforce its guest privacy policy, which prohibits the sharing of guest information except in cases where a judicially enforceable warrant or subpoena is present, or local law requires this information.”

The company claims a system has been established to ensure racist and discriminatory acts such as this do not happen again.

 

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