Motel 6 Was Giving Guests Lists To ICE, Now They Are Paying $20 Million To The Victims
A year and a half ago, people were appalled to know that the guests staying at Motel 6 in Arizona had their information compromised. It wasn’t hackers looking to score credit card information, but immigration officials aiming to track down undocumented immigrants.
When people realized that employees of Motel 6 gave away private information about hotel guests to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a boycott ensued. Furthermore — because that tactic is extremely illegal — immigration advocates sued on behalf of thousands of people.
A year later Motel 6 faced two class action lawsuits, one in Washington and another in Arizona. Both cases have closed in huge settlements.
Motel 6 settled their cases out of court and agreed to pay $20 million to all guests with “Latin-sounding names.”
The guests in Arizona got a whopping $7 million settlement, while in Washington, Motel 6 guests there will get $12 million. Guests with Latino-sounding names faced undue stress from having to answer ICE agents knocking on their room doors unexpectedly. However, there is one problem facing attorneys and those in the class action lawsuits.
Attorneys don’t know how to find the guests impacted by the lawsuits.
Some people stayed at Motel 6 under fake names, others perhaps are not in the country anymore, so lawyers have one year to find patrons of the motel or else all of that money goes to waste.
Each guest — roughly 80,000 people — have to either come forward to get their money or else they will just lose it. However, it’s only natural that people are afraid to come forward because of their immigration status.
“The concern here is that this could be a victory in name only,” Geoffrey Hoffman, director of the University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic told Bloomberg News. “It does create a situation here where the party is penalized, but how will it amount to restitution to compensate these victims if their clients have been deported, and any records of deportation are held by ICE?”