Hotels, Restaurants and Leisure

Motel 6 pays $12 million for sharing guest lists with US immigration: Washington AG

Key Points
  • Motel 6 agreed to pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit in which Washington state's attorney general said the chain routinely provided guest lists to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
  • Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the money will go to roughly 80,000 people who stayed at seven of the chain's Washington locations from 2015 and 2017.
  • Motel 6 is controlled by the private-equity firm Blackstone, which bought the brand in 2012.
A Motel 6
Fort Worth Star-Telegram | Tribune News Service | Getty Images

Motel 6 agreed to pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit in which Washington state's attorney general said the chain routinely provided guest lists to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who announced the settlement on Thursday, said the money will go to roughly 80,000 people who stayed at seven of the chain's Washington locations from 2015 and 2017.

He said their privacy rights were violated because Motel 6 gave their personal information to ICE without their knowledge, and at least nine Washington residents were detained.

As part of the settlement, Motel 6 also agreed it will not hand over guest information nationwide absent a warrant or other legal order, and will improve employee training, Ferguson said.

Motel 6 said in a statement it was pleased to settle, and that "the safety and security of our guests, which includes protecting guest information, is our top priority."

The settlement came five months after Motel 6 agreed to a $7.6 million settlement of similar claims in a proposed class-action lawsuit in Arizona. That accord has yet to receive court approval, court records show.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made immigration a central focus of his presidency.

Motel 6 is controlled by the private-equity firm Blackstone, which bought the brand in 2012.

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Key Points
  • President Donald Trump says he will give Mexico a year to stem the flow of illegal drugs and migrants over the southern border, or he will impose auto tariffs, and if they don't work, he will shut the border.
  • The statement represents a significant step back from Trump's earlier threats to shut the border as early as this weekend.
  • The new, yearlong delay before any action will be taken is good news to businesses and Republican lawmakers, both of whom were strongly opposed to any border closure.