Motel 6 Chains Are Allegedly 'Selling' Undocumented Immigrants to ICE for $200 a Pop

Multiple Motel 6 chains in heavily Latino neighborhoods around Phoenix have been tipping off ICE agents when guests check in at their locations without citizenship documents.


The Phoenix New Times reports that “between February and August, ICE agents made at least 20 arrests at Motel 6s, showing up roughly every two weeks.” They suspect the number might even be higher than the official court records.

A front desk clerk at one Motel 6 location told the Phoenix New Times, “We send a report every morning to ICE—all the names of everybody that comes in. Every morning at about 5 o’clock, we do the audit and we push a button and it sends it to ICE.”

One such victim, Manuel Rodriguez-Juarez, 33, handed the front desk clerk his Mexican ID card before checking into his $45-a-night room. Six hours later, ICE agents knocked on his door and took him to a detention center, where he is currently applying for asylum.

Plenty of Mexican nationals carry ID cards from Mexico when they are in the United States, no matter how long they intend to stay. Last we checked, it’s still not a crime to be born in another country. It remains unclear whether ICE used racial profiling to target these undocumented Latino motel guests, or whether ICE reviewed hotel guest lists and compared them against Department of Homeland Security databases.

An immigration attorney whose clients are now in ICE custody after they were arrested at a Motel 6 said, “They have heard (no telling how valid the info is) that ICE is paying $200 per person for the front-desk clerk to report.”

Another attorney who has seen several clients deported after arrests at motels told the New Times, “They get the list of people who are staying there, and they run them through to see who is wanted for warrants. If they have someone with a warrant, and they find someone who is undocumented, they call ICE.” 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close