Motel 6 says its employees in Phoenix will no longer work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents following news reports that its workers were reporting on guests they believed were in the United States illegally.
In a tweet about reports first published in the Phoenix New Times, Motel 6 said Wednesday: “This was implemented at the local level without the knowledge of senior management. When we became aware of it last week, it was discontinued.”
The news that Motel 6 workers in Phoenix were tipping off ICE agents immediately thrust the chain into the national immigration debate, with some detractors complaining about its vague and tepid statement.
Social media exploded with criticism and satire aimed at the budget motel chain, with some playing off its slogan “We’ll leave the light on for you.”
“They’ll leave the light on — for ICE and police,” Cecilia Wang, national deputy director for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a tweet.
The ACLU of Arizona tweeted separately: “Will new policy reflect this ‘discountined’ practice, @motel6? We look forward to reading it.”
The hashtag #BoycottMotel6 began circulating while Latino political cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz drew and posted on social media a sketch of a Motel 6 with a sign reading: “Immigration Detention Camp.”