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Judge Weighs Final Approval In Motel 6 Settlement

Thomas Saenz
Matthew Casey/KJZZ
Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

A federal judge postponed a decision on giving final approval to a multimillion-dollar class-action settlement over Motel 6 sharing guest information with immigration authorities.

The settlement created a $10 million pot of money. As much as $5.1 million dollars has already been claimed. But more payouts may still get approved.

Some cash left over would go to groups that help immigrants. But the Arizona Attorney General’s Office wants Motel 6 and a Latino civil rights group to reroute more money back to people contacted by immigration authorities.

Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel for Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said he wanted Motel 6 guests to get more money, too.   

“But it was a negotiation. And we ultimately arrived at what we believed to be a fair amount,” he said

A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said it's alright for the outside groups to get some of the money. The agency just wants more of the pie to go to the victims.

Motel 6 did not comment.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.