It seems that several Motel 6 properties in the Phoenix area have been leaving the light on for La Migra. As a result “[a]t least 20 undocumented people were arrested at two Motel 6 locations between February and August.”
Clerks at “multiple” Motel 6 properties around Phoenix said they regularly share customer information with federal immigration authorities, the New Times reported. “We send a report every morning to ICE—all the names of everybody that comes in,” a front-desk clerk told the newspaper. “Every morning at about 5 o’clock, we do the audit, and we push a button, and it sends it to ICE.”
Motel 6, which was sold by Accor to Blackstone Group in 2012, has ordered the practice discontinued.
This isn’t the first time though that a Motel 6 has proactively provided guest information to law enforcement without warrant or subpeona.
[A] Motel 6 property in Warwick, R.I., acknowledged sharing its daily guest list with local police. Over a year, Warwick police arrested 75 people at the motel
..“When Motel 6 says in its ads that they’ll ‘leave the light on for you,’ most people probably don’t realize they’re talking about the light of a police siren,” the ACLU’s Rhode Island chapter said.
Motel 6 Phoenix – Northern Avenue, Credit: Motel 6
A spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement refuses to say whether they have similar arrangements with other hotel chains, only noting that hotels are used in “human trafficking and human smuggling” which sounds like a yes.
Hotel guests historically have expected a great deal of privacy checking into hotels. This is a good reminder that there’s less privacy than you think.