Want to talk about an easy public relations win? This is it. Hotel business and politics don't mix.
U.S. hotel chains Marriott, Hilton, and Choice Hotels have confirmed plans to deny requests made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to use their properties as temporary detention centers ahead of planned raids set to begin this weekend.
Nationwide raids ordered by President Donald Trump will reportedly commence on Sunday, spanning multiple days across 10 major cities. The operation, which had previously been postponed for weeks due to resistance from officials inside the immigration agency, is targeting 2,000 undocumented U.S. residents who remain in the country.
“Our hotels are not configured to be detention facilities, but to be open to guests and community members as well,” Marriott said in an emailed statement. “While we have no particular insights into whether the U.S. government is considering the use of hotels to aid in the situation at the border, Marriott has made the decision to decline any requests to use our hotels as detention facilities.”
ICE detainees are scheduled to be held in family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. However due to space limitations, ICE had hoped hotels would shelter family members until travel documents could be prepared.
A Marriott spokesperson said it has had no indication that any of its hotels had been contacted by the U.S. government to be used to detain individuals. The same goes for Choice Hotels and Hilton.
In a public statement published by immigration activist group Sanctuary DMV on Twitter and later sent to Skift, Choice Hotels said, “We do not believe hotels should be used in this way and will decline any requests to do so. We ask that our franchised hotels only be used for their intended purpose, which is to provide travelers with a welcoming hotel room.”
Echoing those sentiments, Hilton added, “The wellbeing, safety and security of our guests and team members is the most important consideration for Hilton properties. Our hotels are intended to be welcoming places for all. They are not designed to be used as detention centers, and we reject the idea of using them for this purpose.”
This is not the first time hotels have found themselves in the mix with ICE. Motel 6 was accused last summer of tipping officials off by giving guest information at two Phoenix locations to immigration agents who later arrested at least seven guests. Motel 6 later settled the allegations.
This article was updated to include comment from Hilton.
Subscribe to Skift Pro
Subscribe to Skift Pro to get unlimited access to stories like these ($30/month)Subscribe Now
Photo Credit: Nationwide raids ordered by President Donald Trump will reportedly commence on Sunday Bloomberg