State sues Motel 6, alleging it hands over guest registries to ICE agents

SEATTLE -- Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit against Motel 6, saying the budget motel chain is voluntarily handing personal information of thousands of guests to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Ferguson said Wednesday that Motel 6's "actions are disturbing and they are unlawful."

He says the motel divulged to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement the names, dates of birth, license plate numbers and room numbers of more than 9,000 guests at six locations throughout the state.

He says at least six guests were detained because of the hotel's actions.

Ferguson says the company's actions violated the state's consumer protection law.

In September, Motel 6 acknowledged that certain Phoenix-area hotels were voluntarily providing daily guest lists to ICE. The company said the actions were done at the local level without the knowledge of senior management.

"Moving forward, to help ensure that this does not occur again, we will be issuing a directive to every one of our more than 1,400 locations nationwide, making clear that they are prohibited from voluntarily providing daily guest lists to ICE.

Additionally, to help ensure that our broader engagement with law enforcement is done in a manner that is respectful of our guests’ rights, we will be undertaking a comprehensive review of our current practices and then issue updated, company-wide guidelines."

A second statement said, "protecting the privacy and security of our guests are core values of our company. Motel 6 apologizes for this incident and will continue to work to earn the trust and patronage of our millions of loyal guests."

Ferguson officially announced the lawsuit at 11 a.m.

Motel 6 released the following statement:

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