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Immigration law: Did Motel 6 overstep its bounds?

One of the greatest advantages of living in the United States is freedom of movement. One can travel from New Orleans to anywhere in the country without worrying about border crossings from state to state and without being on the government's "radar" as is often the case in many other countries. That is, unless it involves a stay at certain Motel 6 locations that seem to be taking immigration law into their own hands. The question is whether the motel chain violated certain guests' civil rights.

According to a lawsuit recently filed in another state, the information of certain guests was passed on to Immigration and Customs Enforcement without the authorization of the guests. Apparently, employees at the motel chain gave the personal information of Latino guests to ICE, which the lawsuit says violates anti-discrimination laws. One of the people affected has already been deported.

One of the people whose information was given to ICE has four children who are U.S. citizens. When ICE came knocking on her motel room door before dawn, agents threatened to take her children away from her. Ultimately, she and her children went home, but only after the woman was told to report to a regional ICE office and face deportation proceedings. 

With all of the current uncertainty surrounding immigration law, these types of incidents may only increase. The problem is not only with the potential violation of civil rights, but also with immigration authorities. Anyone here in New Orleans who finds themselves in a similar situation may want to contact an immigration attorney as soon as possible in order to gain an understanding of his or her rights and the possible legal solutions available under the circumstances.

Source: npr.org, "Motel 6 Sued For Identifying Latino Guests For Immigration Agents," Richard Gonzales, Jan. 23, 2018

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