Congressman Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) slammed SunTrust Bank CEO William Rogers for refusing to do business with detention facilities providing care for migrant families at the border.
SunTrust bank is one of several major banks that has refused to partner with businesses responsible for operation detention facilities at the southern border. When they announced their decision to cut their business relationships with these facilities, the bank called it a “deeply complex issue,” but decided to bend to the demands of their stakeholders.
During testimony regarding a proposed merger between SunTrust and BB&T banks before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, Duffy pressed Rogers on why they decided to refuse to do business with companies that help law enforcement uphold the law by providing housing for migrant families as they are legally processed.
Duffy set Rogers up by painting a picture of how they could fall victim to the outrage cycle currently entrapping the detention facilities at the southern border.
Watch Duffy grill Rogers:
Duffy: Let’s say there are a few people in America that are going to protest us and say: “This is a horrible merger. Bigger banks are bad. Smaller banks are better. The Congress needs to intervene and say this shouldn’t take place, even though you followed the law.” Would that be fair to you?
Rogers: I don’t think that would be fair.
Duffy: I don’t think so either.
The congressman then called out Rogers for denying business with private detention centers due to the whims of protesters.
“You have policies in your bank that says, ‘If we have detention facilities that are caring for children or detaining individuals who we may not know who they are, following American law.’ You say, ‘I’m not going to bank them.’ Is that fair?”
Rogers danced around the question, refusing to state whether his policy of denying business to detention centers was fair.
Duffy went on to highlight how many protesters — along with some members of Congress — have smeared detention facilities as “concentration camps” and called Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents “Nazis.”
Rogers conceded that he doesn’t believe the detention facilities should be equated with the atrocities of Nazi Germany, but Duffy didn’t let up. He accused Rogers off supporting “open borders” policies that leave Americans at risk as unvetted migrants enter the country.
The CEO tried to claim that his bank doesn’t take social positions, though they clearly do.
“You are taking a social position when you say you won’t bank detention facilities,” said Duffy, later adding that it “concerns” him that SunTrust would oppose the detention of criminal illegal immigrants.
The congressman gave “kudos” to BB&T for leaving the door open for financial dealings with detention facilities.
Duffy isn’t alone in calling out SunTrust for their decision. CoreCivic and Geo Group — both of which run detention centers nationwide — have condemned the bank’s decision.
“This decision is about caving to political pressure,” CoreCivic spokeswoman Amanda Gilchrist told the Los Angles Times after SunTrust made the announcement in early July. “These banks have kowtowed to a small group of activists rather than engaging in a constructive dialogue.”