Motel 6 says its employees in Phoenix will no longer work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents following news reports its workers were apparently reporting on guests they believed were in the United States illegally.
In a tweet about reports first published in the Phoenix New Times, Motel 6 said Wednesday: "This was implemented at the local level without the knowledge of senior management. When we became aware of it last week, it was discontinued."
Statement Regarding Recent Media Reports on Phoenix-area Location pic.twitter.com/MPxaspNA6b
— Motel 6 (@motel6) September 14, 2017
The news that Motel 6 workers in Phoenix were tipping off ICE agents thrust the chain into the national immigration debate.
The weekly newspaper reported ICE had arrested at least 20 people at two Motel 6 locations in heavily Hispanic areas of Phoenix, and quoted workers as saying they gave guest lists to agents.
A spokesperson from ICE sent the following statement:
“Due to operational security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not typically disclose or discuss specific information related to the source of its enforcement leads. The agency receives viable enforcement tips from a host of sources, including other law enforcement agencies, relevant databases, crime victims, and the general public via the agency’s tip line and online tip form. Private citizens who provide enforcement leads to ICE are not compensated for the information.
In carrying out their immigration enforcement mission, ICE deportation officers make arrests nationwide every day as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to ensure domestic security, public safety, and the integrity of our nation’s borders. The agency’s immigration enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven, prioritizing individuals who pose a risk to our communities. It’s worth noting that hotels and motels, including those in the Phoenix area, have frequently been exploited by criminal organizations engaged in highly dangerous illegal enterprises, including human trafficking and human smuggling.”