SEATTLE (KCPQ/CNN) - Washington state's Attorney General filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing Motel 6 of helping federal immigration authorities target hotel guests.
Upwards of 9,000 guests were targeted without warrants and at least six people were detained after the hotel chain secretly gave U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials guest information, according to Bob Ferguson, the state's attorney general.
Ferguson said Motel 6 helped to specifically target immigrants, breaking state law.
"According to Motel 6 staff, the ICE agents circled any Latino or Latina-sounding names on the guest registry and returned to their vehicles, presuming to run through those names through a database,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson was flanked by staff, aiming to take another stand against actions of the federal government for what happened in the state - and elsewhere
Motel 6 was exposed in Arizona last year for handing over personal information to ICE agents in order to help round up undocumented immigrants who booked rooms.
The motel chain said it stopped the practice, but Ferguson found it happened in Washington at different locations - nearly once a day for nearly two years.
Agents wanted to know everything, and Motel 6 handed it over without a warrant.
Information included: room numbers, their names, guest identification numbers, dates of birth, license plate numbers, and their driver's license numbers, Ferguson said.
The practice became such an institution, according to Ferguson, that Motel 6 staff created a signout form for the information.
Motel 6 even trained new workers to hand over the intel on guests without question and without disclosure, something the company promised not to do, Ferguson said.
"You cannot tell your guests 'here's our policy with your private information,' say one thing and do something else,” Ferguson said. “That's deceptive. We also think it's unfair.”
Critics allege that this is another Ferguson attack on Pres. Donald Trump's policies. However, the lawsuit doesn't target ICE, but Motel 6.
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