Washington state sues Motel 6 for sharing guest data with immigration agents

Washington state AG sues Motel 6 over giving ICE info on 9000 guests

Washington state AG sues Motel 6 over giving ICE info on 9000 guests

After the Phoenix New Times report in September, Motel 6′s corporate office said it would issue a directive to all US locations telling employees they were prohibited from voluntarily providing ICE with guest lists.

"After news reports in Arizona revealed Motel 6 staff was handing over guests' private information, Motel 6 implied this was a local problem", he said.

"The voluntary release of this information constitutes an unfair and deceptive business practice, and violates the [Washington] Consumer Protection Act" and the Washington Law Against Discrimination, according to the attorney general's office.

Washington state AG sues Motel 6 over giving ICE info on 9000 guests

"Motel 6 takes this matter very seriously, and we have and will continue to fully cooperate with the Office of the State Attorney General", G6 said in a statement on Wednesday.

Washington state attorney general sues Motel...

Additionally, Ferguson asserts that Motel 6 knew that ICE used its guest lists to target customers based on national origin, including customers with Latino-sounding names. The actions of Motel 6 were not only disturbing and repugnant - they were also unlawful.

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Ferguson's lawsuit points to at least six corporate-owned Motel 6 locations in Washington state's Puget Sound region that provided ICE with guest information without notifying guests or asking for their consent.

The suit, filed in King County Superior Court, states that at least six Motel 6 locations statewide released client information, including names, driver's license numbers, room numbers, dates of birth and license plate numbers, affecting at least 9,000 guests.

His office is looking into whether 15 other Motel 6 locations that operate as franchises divulged similar private information.

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Ferguson said Motel 6's practices in Washington mirrored those in Arizona, citing a September 13, 2017 report in the Phoenix New Times that ICE had arrested 20 people at Motel 6s there from February to August after getting similar tips. Two more locations admitted to voluntarily releasing guest information, however they haven't revealed how many guests' information was disclosed.

The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled in the past that hotel guest registry information is private information, and that use by law enforcement organizations like ICE would violate the right to privacy enshrined in the state's constitution. "They trained their new employees on how to do this", Ferguson said.

According to the complaint, Motel 6 locations provided full guest lists of everyone staying there.

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ICE agents, who are tasked with arresting people who are not legal residents for deportation, would be given a guest list from the hotel's receptionist, along with a form to sign confirming the lists' receipt. The south Everett location gave out personal information 228 times in a 225-day period, according to the lawsuit. Motel 6 may not get to three strikes, however, as the company is accused of violating guest privacy for a second time in less than six months. The office asks for civil penalties of up to $2,000 per violation.

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