Couple Barred From Motel Because Clerk Wouldn’t Accept Puerto Rican ID

A Motel 6 clerk wouldn't accept the Puerto Rico issued IDs because she said they weren't U.S. documents — but Puerto Rico is a part of the United States.

A couple visiting Rancho Cordova, California, from Puerto Rico were denied their motel reservation after the clerk told them the photo identification needed to get their room had to be a valid United States identification.

Puerto Rico, of course, is part of the United States, and the people living there are U.S. citizens. But the clerk at the Motel 6 where Raul Villanueva and his wife were staying wouldn’t budge and didn’t believe the couple when they explained they were Americans, KCRA 3 reported this week.

Villanueva explained that the clerk said he needed to present a license from the United States.

“I said, ‘This is a license from the United States. That’s Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is the United States,’” Villanueva said. “She said, ‘No, it isn’t.’”

Villanueva said he reluctantly tried to use his passport to provide valid ID, but the clerk still wouldn’t accept it as proof of citizenship or identification.

That should raise some red flags, especially since the Motel 6 policy requires guests to “present photo identification upon check-in,” never mentioning that it must be a U.S. issued document. Indeed, one has to wonder how tourists from other countries would be treated at this particular establishment, and whether their IDs would be respected or not.

Representatives from Motel 6 did end up apologizing for the mistake. But more must be done by the company to ensure all of its workers know what constitutes proper identification.

The company should also be sure to make all of its discrimination rules clear to all the staff to prevent what appears to be blatant racism from being used under the guise of sketchy ID policies.

 Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Jim Young/Reuters

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