It was uncovered that employees of two Motel 6 properties in largely Latino neighborhoods of Phoenix, Arizona had been tipping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials about undocumented guests at the motels. According to court records, ICE agents had arrested at least 20 guests at those locations between February and the end of August this year.

The Phoenix New Times has reported that Motel 6 will now prohibit this practice after a front desk clerk told the newspaper they send out a report at 5 a.m. each day to ICE, containing the names of all guests that had checked in.

Motel 6 denounces the practice of sharing guest lists

Reportedly a Supreme Court Decision in 2015 makes it illegal for ICE or other authorities to obtain guest lists from hotels without a warrant. However, there is no problem if hotel employees volunteer that information to officials.

As reported by AZCentral, Motel 6 confirmed in a statement on Thursday that the action was carried out at a local level and was without the knowledge of the hotel chain’s senior management. They added that as soon as they became aware of the practice, it was discontinued.

Motel 6 spokesperson Jillian Perera went on to add that in future, to ensure this doesn’t happen again, they will issue a directive to each of their over 1,400 locations in the U.S.

to make it clear their employees are prohibited from voluntarily handing over guest lists to ICE.

The hotel chain also said they will be launching a comprehensive review into the company’s guidelines to ensure that any further engagement with ICE or other law enforcement is carried out in a manner respectful to the rights of their guests.

Undocumented immigrant is taken into custody

The Phoenix New Times gave the example of Manuel Rodriguez-Juarez, 33, who had an argument with his girlfriend in June.

He checked into a local Motel 6 while she cooled down after the argument. On checking in, he was asked to show identification to reserve the room and Rodriguez-Juarez handed over the only ID he had – his Mexican voter identification card. It was six hours later, while he was watching television in his motel room, that there was a knock on his door. When he opened up, he found three ICE agents. When he admitted he wasn’t in the U.S. legally, they took him into custody, where he is still being held in a Florence immigration detention center.

While Rodriguez juarez's asylum is pending, Juan Rocha, his lawyer, wondered if employees at the Motel 6 had tipped authorities off. This led to the discovery that some 20 illegal immigrants had been arrested at two Motel 6 properties in the area, with ICE agents turning up on average every two weeks, after receiving the daily guest lists.