The publication reviewed court records between February and August, which show that in that time, ICE arrested at least 20 people at two Motels 6s (4130 North Black Canyon Highway and 1530 North 52nd Drive).
And to somehow make this story even worse, one immigration attorney (whose client is now being detained by ICE and has spoken to others in the same situation) has heard an unsettling rumor involving alleged compensation for these Motel 6 reports: "They have heard (no telling how valid the info is) that ICE is paying $200 per person for the front-desk clerk to report".
The Phoenix New Times notes Motel 6 has a reputation for being eager to cooperate with law enforcement and a location in Warwick, Rhode Island was flagged by the ACLU for sharing its guest lists with police. In June, ICE Director Thomas Homan had warned that all undocumented immigrants "need to be worried" and said that ICE would also go after non-criminal undocumented people. Daily tips from hotel employees, uncovered by the Phoenix New Times, had ICE agents showing at two hotels, both located in largely Latino parts of the Arizona capitol, about once every two weeks. Last we checked, it's still not a crime to be born in another country.
They fear they'll be reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and deported. "Every morning at a out 5 o'clock, we do the audit and we push a button and it sends it to ICE". This means these Motel 6 hotels are voluntarily offering the information with the full knowledge guests could possibly end up arrested or deported.
"We just don't know enough about what's going on", he told the newspaper, adding, "I'll tell you one goddamned thing for sure - I'm not staying at a Motel 6 from now on".
Both of the Motel 6 locations are corporate owned, so this isn't the case of a local franchise owner taking people's money and then calling the authorities. "We are now investigating and will provide more information shortly".
"They have heard ... that ICE is paying $200 per person for the front-desk clerk to report", Aguilar wrote in an email to the New Times.
In 2015, the Supreme Court declared it illegal for ICE - or any government agency - to search hotel or motel registries without a warrant.
"We understand that the standard practice is that guest information of any type is not turned over to anybody asking for it absent a subpoena or other compulsory process, except under extenuating circumstances such as when the safety of other guests comes into question", she said. We conduct targeted enforcement operations every day.