Sept. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. hotel chain Motel 6 says it will no longer share information about guests with federal immigration authorities.
The company's decision came after an Arizona newspaper reported that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made at least 20 arrests at two Motel 6 locations this year, both located in predominantly Latino neighborhoods.
A lawyer for one of the undocumented immigrants who was arrested said it was local Motel 6 staff who tipped off federal authorities.
"I don't know who else would have told them," the attorney said. "'Hey, this guy doesn't speak English, he has a Mexican ID card, I'm going to call ICE.'"
In response, Motel 6 said ICE was indeed tipped off by local employees at the motels -- without the knowledge or approval of company officials.
The company said the practice of informing federal agents about undocumented guests will be immediately discontinued.
"Moving forward, to help ensure that this does not occur again, we will be issuing a directive to every one of our more than 1,400 locations nationwide, making clear that they are prohibited from voluntarily providing daily guest lists to ICE," Motel 6 said in a statement. "Protecting the privacy and security of our guests are core values of our company.
"Motel 6 apologizes for this incident and will continue to work to earn the trust and patronage of our millions of loyal guests."