Motel 6 sued over guest lists
Washington D.C. – 4 January 2018 –
Motel 6 is being sued by Washington state’s attorney general, who accused the discount hotel chain of illegally providing guest lists to US immigration authorities, knowing of their interest in people with “Latino-sounding” names.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson said six Motel 6 locations in Washington provided names, birth dates, licence plates and other personal information belonging to at least 9,151 guests to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from June 2015 to May 2017, Reuters reported.
Ferguson said Motel 6 knew ICE used guest lists to target people based on their national origin, and that the disclosures led to detentions of at least six people.
Motel 6 is controlled by private equity firm Blackstone Group, which bought the brand in 2012.
The chain’s management company, G6 Hospitality, said it ordered its more than 1,400 US and Canadian locations in September to stop voluntarily giving guest lists to ICE agents.
“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.
He said Motel 6 trained new employees to cooperate with ICE agents, despite a company policy of “safeguarding the privacy of the personal information that we gather.”
The lawsuit filed with the King County Superior Court in Seattle seeks an injunction against similar conduct and civil fines of up to US$2,000 per violation of state consumer protection and anti-discrimination laws.
“Motel 6 implied this was a local problem,” Ferguson, a Democrat, said in a statement. “We have found that is not true.”