Arizona Motel 6 Accused Of Tipping Off ICE On Undocumented Guests

Staff at two Motel 6 establishments in Arizona are allegedly racially profiling guests and informing on those they suspect to be undocumented immigrants.

Ice agents approach a home and knock on the door.

In an astonishing new expose, the Phoenix New Times reported a suspicious number of arrests of undocumented immigrants at two Motel 6 locations in Maryvale, Arizona.

The newspaper alleges staff at the establishments have been racially profiling guests and calling ICE on any they suspect to be in the United States illegally.

“We send a report every morning to ICE — all the names of everybody that comes in,” a front-desk clerk told reporters. “Every morning at about 5 o’clock, we do the audit and we push a button and it sends it to ICE.”

Motel 6 management and ICE have been less forthcoming in responding to the accusations, but there is evidence to indicate that the talkative employee is a viable source.

The Phoenix New Times found ICE agents made at least 20 arrests between February and August at the two locations in question.

In one incident, landscaper Manuel Rodriguez-Juarez checked into one of the locations and presented his Mexican voter ID card as a form of identification. Just six hours later, he was taken from his hotel room by ICE agents and placed in an immigration detention center. His attorney, Juan Rocha, said he believes one of the hotel staff is the reason his client is now at risk of deportation.

Documents surrounding the case state ICE arrested Rodriguez-Juarez after "following a lead" and that the unit had "received information that Rodriguez-Juarez was checked into room #214.”

“I’m thinking to myself, how would they know that,” Rocha told the Phoenix New Times. “The client said he gave them a Mexican ID card — but there’s people who visit the U.S. all the time who have Mexican IDs. How does that establish that you’re here without authorization?”

“I’m assuming it was a Motel 6 person," he continued. "I don’t know who else would have told them — thinking, ‘Hey, this guy doesn’t speak English, he has a Mexican ID card, I’m going to call ICE.’”

"You can be a documented immigrant and have that ID card. You could be on a visitor visa and have that card," wrote Jack Moore for GQ. "To base a call to ICE off this information is literally racial profiling and despicable."

The Phoenix New Times notes Motel 6 has a reputation for being eager to cooperate with law enforcement, and a location in Warwick, Rhode Island, was flagged by the ACLU for sharing its guest lists with police.

It's the kind of action that places Motel 6 right in the middle of a complex and emotionally-wrought situation they frankly have no understanding of and zero business in. Most people are doing their best to take care of themselves and those they love without hurting a single soul, and whether or not they are in the U.S. legally has little bearing on that fact. 

Banner and thumbnail credit: Wikimedia Commons user Nenyedi

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