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Motel 6 Will Pay $7.6 Million for Sharing Its Guest List With ICE

Motel 6 Will Pay $7.6 Million for Sharing Its Guest List With ICE
Jackie Reddy

Motel 6 will offer $7.6 million to settle a lawsuit brought against it by eight Hispanic guests who claim that the chain shared guests’ details with immigration authorities. The company will compensate claimants for legal fees and is forbidden from sharing further data with immigration authorities.

Reuters reports that Motel 6 is to offer $7.6 million in compensation to settle a suit brought against it by eight Hispanic customers who claimed that the chain supplied guest lists and details to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents (ICE).

The class action suit was brought forward on behalf of these plaintiffs – who say that the company violated their privacy by providing these details – by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).

According to the news agency, MALDEF, in turn, “filed the lawsuit after the Phoenix New Times said ICE agents had arrested 20 people over six months at Motel 6s in Arizona, using guest lists to target people by national origin.”

As for the breakdown of compensation, the agency states that, “Up to $5.6 million will go to Motel 6 guests who faced immigration removal proceedings after their personal information was shared … Another $1 million was set aside for guests who were questioned or interrogated by immigration authorities … The remaining $1 million will go to guests whose information was turned over to immigration authorities from Feb. 1, 2017 to Nov. 2, 2018.”

As part of the settlement, the chain will also pay out just over $1 million in legal fees and will be forbidden from sharing data on guests with immigration authorities for two years.

Offering their comments in a shared statement, MALDEF and Motel 6 were quoted as saying that, “Motel 6 fully recognizes the seriousness of the situation and accepts full responsibility for both compensating those who were harmed and taking the necessary steps to ensure that we protect the privacy of our guests.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (4)

4 Comments

  1. pdsales

    November 14, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    “As part of the settlement, the chain will …be forbidden from sharing data on guests with immigration authorities for two years.”

    For two years? If it was wrong from Feb. 1, 2017 to Nov. 2, 2018, why is it OK after two years?

    If it is OK after two years, why was it wrong Feb. 1, 2017 to Nov. 2, 2018?

  2. amanuensis

    amanuensis

    November 14, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    pdsales — good questions!

    I have not read the settlement agreement, so I could be completely wrong, but my guess is that Motel 6 and ICE are asserting that Motel 6’s act of providing the information is not where Motel 6 went wrong, but instead erred in not providing notice to the guests that they were sharing information with ICE.

    So I assume that if Motel 6 resumes providing guest information to ICE after the two years, they will provide a boilerplate notification to guests that their information may/will be shared, with the option for guests to not have their information shared by choosing to not stay at the motel.

  3. sfoeuroflyer

    November 15, 2018 at 9:01 am

    This is complete BS. It is well known that authorities dragnet hotels and even credit card expenses. Settling by paying money to a left wing organization like MALDEF goes in the wrong direction. Feds should have fought this case viciously and intensely. Who wants to bet that the recipients of money were here illegally???

  4. Counsellor

    November 16, 2018 at 8:32 am

    I agree with sfoeuroflyer – cooperating with law enforcement authorities in apprehending criminals is not something bad, but paying money to criminals who are caught in criminal activity is nonsense.

    In many countries it is routine for immigration authorities (similar to ICE) to review hotel registries. This is information obtained by the hotel — a private business — in the normal course of its business.

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