State Sues Motel 6 for Alleged Discrimination, Tom Bodett Not Amused
The story broke nationally back in September, that national motel chain Motel 6 was allegedly providing guest lists to ICE and other federal immigration officials.
Now a lawsuit has been filed in Washington state.
According to various media sources, Motel 6 had been providing guest lists and information to ICE officials in various cities, in some cases for at least a year or more.
Two hotels in the Phoenix, AZ area confirmed they would voluntarily release guest information with which ICE agents would use to search for and detain illegals. It was done without a warrant.
What was thought to have been a local or regional occurrence was later found to be happening at various Motel 6 locations, including Washington state.
After the Arizona story broke, Motel 6 admitted such practices occurred since 2015 at locations in Bellingham, north and south Everett, south Seattle, SeaTac and south Tacoma. There is no evidence any such list activity occurred in the Mid-Columbia.
WAState Attorney General Bob Ferguson says the lists contained guests drivers' license numbers, birth dates and license plate numbers. At least six people believed to be illegals were detained by ICE using this technique.
Ferguson says the practice violates the Consumer Protection Act, and a Washington State Supreme Court case ruled that guest registry information is considered private.
Random searches of this information violates state privacy laws. Ferguson claims the agency used the lists to target those with Hispanic sounding names, who's rooms were later checked on.
ICE officials have said they utilize a variety of methods to obtain leads, and said that even if ICE agents knock on such doors, they can be refused by the people inside unless there's already a warrant.
Ferguson did not stipulate how much the lawsuit was asking for in damages.