Motel 6 Goes Sanctuary, New Policy Protects Felons, Other Criminals

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

September 21, 2017
new citizens
Legal Immigrants stand united against sanctuary policies.
Sanctuary city quiz: if a sanctuary Motel 6 is located in sanctuary city Sacramento, the capital of sanctuary state California, is an illegal immigrant three-times as protected from federal law enforcement officers?

For those who haven’t heard, Motel 6 recently announced that it would no longer voluntarily  turn over guest lists to Immigration and Customs Enforcement because, according to a statement, “"Protecting the privacy and security of our guests are core values of our company." ICE arrested several previously deported aliens at a Phoenix Motel 6, and immigration lawyers intervened.

A second illegal entry is a felony, and moreover, the Phoenix Motel 6 and some other local hotels are notorious for criminal activity that puts other guests and the greater metro area at risk. An ICE Phoenix division representative said: "It's worth noting that hotels and motels, including those in the Phoenix area, have frequently been exploited by criminal organizations engaged in highly dangerous illegal enterprises, including human trafficking and human smuggling.” A Phoenix Police Department spokesman added that registration information often comes from “informal sources.”

California’s sanctuary state bill, SB 54, has intensified an already white-hot controversy about how much protection criminal aliens should be afforded. But among the public, there’s little debate. Polling taken by The Hill in 2015, by Morning Consult in 2016, and by McLaughlin in 2017, showed high levels of public support for stronger coordination between local law enforcement and immigration officials, and for defunding jurisdictions that maintain sanctuary status.

Earlier this year when Howard County, MD. launched an ultimately unsuccessful sanctuary effort, legal immigrants protested at the city council meeting. Reporting on the council hearing, the New York Times wrote: “In passionate testimony before county legislators, and in tense debates with liberal neighbors born in the United States, legal immigrants argued that offering sanctuary to people who came to the country illegally devalued their own past struggles to gain citizenship."
 
AG Jeff Sessions promises that his Department of Justice will continue to use its resources to enforce federal immigration law, and to end sanctuary jurisdictions.
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