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Motel 6 Says It Will Ban All Locations From Reporting Undocumented Immigrants To ICE

The chain made the statement after news that two Motel 6 locations in the Phoenix area were reporting undocumented immigrants to federal authorities.

Last updated on September 14, 2017, at 7:47 p.m. ET

Posted on September 14, 2017, at 3:21 a.m. ET

Ross D. Franklin / AP

A Motel 6 in Tucson, Arizona.

The corporate office of Motel 6 said Thursday it was issuing a nationwide directive banning the practice of calling immigration authorities to report undocumented immigrants staying at any of its properties after it was alerted to the practice in Arizona.

The statement comes after the Phoenix New Times reported that it was standard practice for Motel 6 to share guest information with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “This was implemented at the local level without the knowledge of senior management,” Motel 6 said in a statement. "When we became aware of it last week, it was discontinued."

"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," Motel 6 said. "Motel 6 apologizes for this incident and will continue to work to earn the trust and patronage of our millions of loyal guests."

The Phoenix New Times reported that between February and August, ICE agents made at least 20 arrests at Motel 6 locations, showing up roughly every two weeks in predominantly Latino neighborhoods. “We send a report every morning to ICE — all the names of everybody that comes in,” a front-desk clerk told the New Times. “Every morning at about 5 o’clock, we do the audit and we push a button and it sends it to ICE.”

ICE declined to confirm whether it received tips from Motel 6, citing operational security.

“The agency receives viable enforcement tips from a host of sources, including other law enforcement agencies, relevant databases, crime victims, and the general public via the agency’s tip line and online tip form,” said Virginia Kice, a spokesperson for ICE.

Motel 6 said it was also it was undertaking a comprehensive review of how it works with law enforcement and then issue company-wide guidelines.

The report drew the ire of immigrant advocates:

Always nice to know @TomBodett and @Motel6 will 'call the ICE on ya'. #BrownBoycottMotel6 ✊🏾@LaloAlcaraz…

Is this your official company policy, @Motel6?

This is horrible. Allies, this is where we need you. Call out these companies, they are getting paid for our commun…

@motel6 @usnews @motel6 will never again stay in any of your locations. I will also be speaking horrendously about…

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.