For immediate release
September 15, 2017
Hotel workers join immigration activists and community allies to protest motel’s predatory treatment of immigrant guests
PHOENIX–Today, dozens of immigrant activists gathered at the Motel 6 in the city’s Maryvale neighborhood to protest the hotel staff’s practice of calling ICE on suspected undocumented guests, as reported by the Phoenix New Times this week. The hotel workers union UNITE HERE called on the company to disavow the practice in all of its properties.
According to Bloomberg.com, Motel 6’s parent corporation admitted that staff at multiple Phoenix-area motels voluntarily gave information about guests to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The company says the practice has been discontinued. The Phoenix New Times reported that there have been approximately 20 arrests at two Motel 6’s in the Phoenix area since February this year.
“I am a Latina, and I am a proud member of my union. It is shameful what Motel 6 has done. You know who cleans the rooms and cooks the food at hotels and motels across the country? Latinos. We are good, hardworking people. We won’t tolerate companies that use our labor, take our money, and have us deported,” said Lucia Vergara, member of UNITE HERE Local 11 executive board and cook at HMS Host at Sky Harbor Airport.
“Motel 6 has yet to come out and condemn the practice of calling ICE on its guests. They need to be crystal clear—it will not happen anymore,” said Maria Elena Durazo, General Vice President for Immigration, Civil Rights, and Diversity of UNITE HERE International Union.
The union’s action today called on Motel 6 to enact the following:
- Motel 6 needs to publicly condemn the practice of reporting suspected undocumented guests to ICE. The company has said that it has stopped the practice at the two locations where the calls to ICE were discovered, but the company has yet to pledge that the practice will not be permitted in any of its locations.
- Going forward, Motel 6 has to pledge that it will not cooperate with ICE in any way other than what is mandated by law. It will not share customer information without a warrant, nor will it seek out immigration law enforcement.
- Motel 6 should publicly support DACA and TPS, two programs that protect immigrant workers in this country. Other major companies, such as Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt, have already spoken out in favor of DACA.
UNITE HERE Local 11 represents 25,000 workers employed in hotels, restaurants, airports, sports arenas, and convention centers throughout Southern California and Arizona. Learn more at unitehere11.org