News Highlights Need For Hotels To Take Action Against Trump Admin’s Cruel Policy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – New reporting this afternoon in The Washington Post lays bare the latest in the Trump administration’s campaign of cruelty against immigrant families. Following a recent appeals court ruling that upheld a ban on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detaining immigrants in private hotels, the administration is putting new pressure on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to endorse the harmful practice — using the pandemic as a straw man argument to keep its cruelty going.
The news comes after the recent launch of “No ICE Hotels,” a campaign by government watchdog Accountable.US calling on hotels to publicly refuse to assist ICE in their harmful detention practices and to release a plan that ensures that no hotels under their brand comply with ICE to hold unaccompanied children and families again.
“This news is revolting, but unsurprising. The Trump administration may have stopped its cruel practice of putting immigrant children in cages, but it continues to find new ways to mistreat immigrant children and families in its custody, eschewing its legal obligations to provide even the baseline protections they should be afforded in federal facilities,” said Accountable.US spokesperson Lizzy Price. “We can’t trust that the Trump administration will uphold the appeals court ruling banning detaining unaccompanied children in hotels. Hotels must stand firmly against ICE – it’s the only way we can ensure that this cruel tactic ends for good.”
According to the article, the administration is attempting to pressure the CDC to speak out in favor of detaining immigrant children in hotels as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19. But their shoddy reasoning fails to provide answers to the myriad threats immigrants face in hotel detention under ICE’s shadow system, including leaving children in facilities not subject to certain protections and in the hands of unlicensed workers — thus opening the door to potential abuse and neglect. Additionally, secrecy around the practice often results in legal advocates and families being left in the dark about their loved ones’ whereabouts and safety. And with COVID-19 cases on the rise in ICE facilities — even resulting in deaths — it is clear that the Trump administration has utterly failed to protect the individuals in its custody amid the ongoing pandemic.
While some hotels came out last year against cooperating with ICE, subsequent reports revealed that they quietly continued to do so even after publicly denouncing the practice. In an effort to hold them to their word, Accountable.US and several immigrant rights groups sent a letter to major hotel CEOs calling on them to put actions behind their words.
The campaign targets hotel chain giants including Hilton (Hampton Inn); Best Western; Choice Hotels (Comfort Suites, Quality Suites, Econo Lodge), among the more than two dozen hotels that have participated in harmful collaborations with ICE this year.