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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?”

READ: Motel 6 Is Being Sued By Two States For Violating Privacy Acts By Giving Guests Lists To ICE

While Trump Postponed ICE Raids, He Keeps Using The Community As A Political Pawn Because He Can’t Legislate

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While Trump Postponed ICE Raids, He Keeps Using The Community As A Political Pawn Because He Can’t Legislate

realdonaldtrump / Instagram

News broke over the weekend that President Trump would be delaying planned immigration raids throughout the country. He tweeted that the deportation operations would be postponed by two weeks to see if Congress can make changes to asylum laws and work out legislative groundwork with Democrats.

As news of the roundups became public knowledge on Friday, faith and immigration groups prepared and informed communities of their rights and procedures in case of an interaction with ICE officials. But the sudden abrupt reversal did little to relieve or reassure immigrants and their supporters.

Migrant communities across the country are becoming familiar with this feeling.

President Trump’s reversal came as immigrant advocates prepared undocumented immigrants for a highly publicized operation. ICE officials were expected to target more than 2,000 families with pending deportations orders. But even with a delay, fears are mounting for many who don’t know what to expect next for themselves and their families.

Marjorie Murillo, a community liaison specialist for Miami Dade Public Schools, says that President Trump’s delayed immigration raids do nothing but toy with immigrant communities livelihoods.

“We don’t trust him in any way,” Murillo told NBC News. “I’ve been calling and sending messages everywhere that they are postponed, but where I live, parents and everyone, they are never safe.”

This isn’t the first time President Trump has used immigration fear tactics to push for legislation.

Back in 2017, President Trump attempted to terminate the Obama-era program that protected so-called Dreamers, young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. It was a failed attempt to pressure Congress in passing an immigration bill that included new restrictions on legal immigration. Earlier this year, a 35-day government shutdown ended without Democrats agreeing to the president’s terms, funding for a border wall.

There has been pushback from politicians and immigration advocates that are calling the raids unjust.

According to CNN, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Trump Friday night and asked him to call off the raids. It was the next day that the President would announce the delay. Pelosi approved of President Trump’s announced delay and said it would give Congress enough time to work on immigration reform.

“Mr. President, delay is welcome. Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Families belong together,” Pelosi tweeted.

Some are calling the move a tactic to help benefit Trump’s effort to secure funding for immigration enforcement. Republicans and Democrats in Congress are currently in the midst of negotiating legislation to allocate funds to different agencies, that includes ICE. The agency is dealing with record large-scale migration of Central American families and unaccompanied children to the U.S.-Mexico border, currently at a 13-year high.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been one of the strongest advocates against ICE deportations. The organization says President Trump’s immigration policies have installed fears in communities across the country.

“Our communities shouldn’t have to live in fear that parents won’t come home from work, or kids won’t return from school, or a knock at the door could rip a family apart,” the ACLU said in a tweet. “This isn’t Donald Trump’s America, it’s ours. We can resist his deportation agenda — together.”

Many on social media are using their platform to share tips and advice in case an individual finds themselves interacting with ICE.

CREDIT:@diana-bbcita/Twitter

Within hours that news broke that immigration raids would be happening, people took to social media to share helpful tips. From informing people to stay in their homes and to not answer their doors, by the time President Trump announced the delay on Saturday, people were ready.

Images across social media showed ICE checkpoints and areas of interest where deportation officials might show up. But even as more time is given to prepare for the worst-case scenarios, many aren’t taking any risks.

“He’s making an announcement as if these deportations are not already happening,” Murillo said. “He’s saying if Democrats don’t do what I want them to do, deportations will start in two weeks. Deportations have been happening since he went into office. It’s coming, maybe it will turn a little bit, stay on guard. We can’t ever let our guard down.”

READ: ICE Raids Ordered To Begin On Sunday In Major Cities

The FBI Is Investigating The Death Of A Woman And Three Children Near The Rio Grande

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The FBI Is Investigating The Death Of A Woman And Three Children Near The Rio Grande

The number of casualties at the border and detention camps continues to mount and each death that is reported hits the immigrant community just as hard. The death count is hard to pinpoint at immigration officials have actively hidden deaths in the past and some deaths occur as migrants attempt to cross the border. The latest casualty is being reported from southern Texas near the Rio Grande and includes children.

The bodies of four undocumented people, one 20-year-old woman, two infants, and a toddler, were found near the Rio Grande.

Credit: @fams2gether / Twitter

Sheriff Eddie Guerra of Hidalgo County tweeted that the FBI would be leading the investigation on the four casualties because the bodies were found on U.S. federal land.

“Deputies are on scene by the river SE of the Anzalduas Park in Las Paloma Wildlife Management Area where Border Patrol agents located 4 deceased bodies,” he tweeted.

Their nationalities are unclear as of now, but the names will not be released until the embassy of their country of origin is informed, followed by the family of the victims.

According to the Associated Press, the woman and children could have been dead for days.

Credit: @ajplus / Twitter

While the cause of death remains unknown, initial reports suggest they could have died of heat exhaustion which is common when traveling through that rugged terrain, especially in the summer.

Earlier in the day, Sheriff Eddie Guerra tweeted about a heat advisory in the area and warned people not to go outside.

Immigration advocates are outraged over the latest deaths, primarily because U.S. citizens attempting to prevent deaths on the border by volunteering to give migrants food and water are being prosecuted.

Credit: @RAICESTEXAS / Twitter

Private citizens and elected officials have tried to help those making the deadly journey to the U.S. While no one is pushing for open, un monitored borders, there are people fighting to make sure that those who will make the journey in desperation do not die.

The latest deaths are calling attention to those working to help migrants risking arrest and imprisonment under the Trump administration.

Scott Warren, a volunteer with No More Deaths, was recently on trial for dropping life-saving supplies along a popular route for those seeking safety in the U.S. The jury in his case could not come to a conclusion about whether or not he broke any laws. In turn, the judge declared a mistrial and the judge said there will be a conference on July 2 to decide how to proceed.

READ: Trial Begins For Scott Warren, The Volunteer Arrested For Giving Undocumented People Water, Saving Lives

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