Last month Hilton came under fire for housing children in the process of being deported by the United States. The chain told hotels they shouldn’t accept these bookings.
Now we learn that children were being held in even more Hilton, Marriott, and Choice hotels than we thought.
Three Hampton Inn & Suites hotels in Phoenix and two Texas cities, El Paso and McAllen, comprise the majority of the stays up to the end of July, according to the data published Friday in federal court filings. …A Homewood Suites in San Antonio held 12 children and an Embassy Suites in San Antonio held 10. A DoubleTree hotel in Houston was also used twice.
…The Courtyard by Marriott hotel near the El Paso airport was used to detain 55 children. …A TownePlace Suites in Alexandria, Louisiana, was used for 17 children. Alexandria is a major hub for deportation flights operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Another 13 children total were detained at four other Marriott properties in San Antonio and McAllen, Texas.
…A Comfort Suites hotel in Alexandria was used 12 times.
At least 660 children have been held in hotels enroute to deportation. Most were unaccompanied by parents. According to the government “it cannot allow children to stay in the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
- The justification appears to presume that the U.S. is Covid-free, and is trying to keep the virus out of the country so that it doesn’t spread here.
- The children are already in the United States but as long as they leave they can’t spread Covid-19, it seems?
- The government could test the children and provide health care if needed, by the way the hotels lack the services that detention centers have.
Chains say the stays shouldn’t be happening but a Marriott spokesperson says they can be easily tricked by online travel agency sites. Even when it comes to child separation and deportation, Marriott prefers book direct.
Marriott, Hilton, and Choice hotels last year refused to serve as detention centers to temporarily house people picked up in immigration raids. However the Marriott Marquis Chicago hosted the Customs and Border Protection annual trade symposium and featuring the acting Secretary of Homeland Security and acting Customs and Border Protection commissioner.
Marriott also voiced no public concerns when the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh was used as a detention facility by the government of Saudi Arabia. In fact it was used for torture and even reportedly murder.
Two years ago it was airlines objecting to being used by the federal government to deport kids though Delta ‘applauded the administration’ for its efforts to unite immigrant children with their parents (sic).