Two Motel 6 locations in Phoenix are being accused of calling immigration officials on undocumented guests, The Phoenix New Times reports.
The motels, which are based in predominantly Latino neighborhoods, are presumably responsible for 20 arrests between February and August of this year made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, according to court documents obtained by the paper.
ICE agents have stated before that they were simply following “leads,” but the evidence states otherwise. Manuel Rodriguez-Juarez, a 33-year-old landscaper, checked into one of the hotels and presented a Mexican voter’s ID card as identification. Reportedly, he was arrested six hours later by ICE officials who came to his hotel room.
Juarez is now being detained at an immigration holding center in Florence, Ariz., and is seeking asylum. His lawyer, Juan Rocha, believes someone at the hotel tipped off ICE.
“I’m assuming it was a Motel 6 person—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,’" Rocha told The New Times.
“I’m thinking to myself, ‘How would they know that?’” he continued. “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?”
While Motel 6 hasn’t responded directly to those arrests, according to The Root, employees did tell the New Times off the record that they do send guest information to ICE.
After the report was released, Motel 6 issued a statement via Twitter stating that this was implemented at a local level and that senior management wasn’t aware of these discriminatory actions.
Statement Regarding Recent Media Reports on Phoenix-area Location pic.twitter.com/MPxaspNA6b
— Motel 6 (@motel6) September 14, 2017