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Motel 6 Is Helping ICE Arrest Undocumented Guests in Arizona

Motel 6 Is Helping ICE Arrest Undocumented Guests in Arizona

After digging into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrest paperwork, the paper has uncovered an abundance of incidents where ICE agents have curiously knocked on the doors of Motel 6 guests who happen to be undocumented immigrants.

One such arrest was that of 33-year-old landscaper Manuel Rodriguez-Juarez who got a room at one of the two Motel 6 locations in June. Rodriguez-Juarez told New Times that when asked for his ID by the registration desk, he showed them his Mexican voter ID card.

If Motel 6 is in fact working with ICE, it wouldn't be the first time the chain has cozied up to law enforcement.

Juarez is now being detained at an immigration holding center in Florence, Ariz., and is seeking asylum.

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The Motel 6 budget lodging chain is commonly associated with its longtime slogan of welcoming hospitality: "We'll leave the light on". Immigration officials had "received information that Rodriguez-Juarez was checked into room #214", according to Department of Homeland Security records cited by the New Times.

"I'm thinking to myself, 'How would they know that?'" he continued. Rocha told New Times. People who can't provide documents are whisked away. "How does that establish that you're here without authorization?"

The newspaper alleges staff at the establishments have been racially profiling guests and calling ICE on any they suspect to be in the United States illegally.

The Phoenix New Times found ICE agents made at least 20 arrests between February and August and the two locations in question.

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"We send a report every morning to ICE - all the names of everybody that comes in", one front-desk clerk told New Times. 'Every morning at about 5 o'clock, we do the audit and we push a button and it sends it to ICE'. "Those are investigative techniques that we wouldn't be able to talk about", she said. Indeed, the representative would only speak "hypothetically" about vague "targeted enforcement" methods that are regularly employed.

Immigration attorney Denise Aguilar wrote The New Times in an email that some of her clients "have heard (no telling how valid the info is) that ICE is paying $200 per person for the front-desk clerk to report".

If the Motel 6 locations were sharing guest information, it would not necessarily be violating the rule of law. And as New Times notes, the company has been criticized by the ACLU for sharing guest lists with local police. Keep in mind that as far as we know clerks have no reason to suspect these people of having committed any crime other than lacking standard American identification docs-they have no way of knowing about outstanding warrants or other possible crimes.

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