Mo­tel 6 says em­ploy­ees won’t call im­mi­gra­tion on guests

Manteca Bulletin - - Dollars & Sense -

PHOENIX (AP) — Mo­tel 6 says its em­ploy­ees in Phoenix will no longer work with U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment agents fol­low­ing news re­ports that its work­ers were pro­vid­ing guests’ names to agents who later arrested 20 of the peo­ple on im­mi­gra­tion charges.

In a tweet about re­ports first pub­lished in the Phoenix New Times, Mo­tel 6 said Wed­nes­day: “This was im­ple­mented at the lo­cal level with­out the knowl­edge of se­nior man­age­ment. When we be­came aware of it last week, it was dis­con­tin­ued.”

Em­ploy­ees at a Mo­tel 6 near a stretch of other bud­get mo­tels, dis­count stores and fast food restau­rants — re­fused to an­swer questions Thurs­day and re­ferred all queries to cor­po­rate head­quar­ters.

The news that Mo­tel 6 work­ers in Phoenix were aid­ing ICE agents im­me­di­ately thrust the chain into the na­tional im­mi­gra­tion de­bate, with some de­trac­tors com­plain­ing about its vague and tepid state­ment.

So­cial me­dia ex­ploded with crit­i­cism and satire aimed at the bud­get mo­tel chain, with some play­ing off its slo­gan “We’ll leave the light on for you.”

“They’ll leave the light on — for ICE and po­lice,” Ce­cilia Wang, na­tional deputy di­rec­tor for the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union, said in a tweet.

The ACLU of Ari­zona tweeted separately: “Will new pol­icy reflect this ‘dis­coun­tined’ prac­tice, @ mo­tel6? We look for­ward to read­ing it.”

The hash­tag #Boy­cottMo­tel6 be­gan cir­cu­lat­ing while Latino po­lit­i­cal car­toon­ist Lalo Al­caraz drew and posted on so­cial me­dia a sketch of a Mo­tel 6 with a sign read­ing: “Im­mi­gra­tion De­ten­tion Camp.”

Long­time Mo­tel 6 pitch­man Tom Bodett sent a tweet sup­port­ing the chain, say­ing: “If you’ve been vexed by the sit­u­a­tion with @mo­tel6 in Phoenix. Here is the re­sponse from their HQ. I had faith this was the case” and in­cluded the chain’s state­ment. Some of Bodett’s fol­low­ers crit­i­cized him and called on him to slam the chain.

It’s not the first time the chain has come un­der fire for pro­vid­ing guest lists to au­thor­i­ties.

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