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Lawmakers Denounce Plan to Transfer GITMO Detainees to U.S. Soil

May 03, 2016  | 

On Thursday, the House Committee on Homeland Security's Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee held a hearing to examine state and local perspectives on the impact of transferring Guantanamo detainees to the homeland following the release of the Administration's February 2016 plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, reports Homeland Security Today.

Under the plan, some detainees will be transferred to U.S. soil. Specific locations have not been identified.

As Homeland Security Today previously reported, President Obama said leaving the facility open is "contrary to the nation's values" and "undermines our standing in the world. However, the move faces major opposition from state and local officials concerned about their communities becoming terrorist targets.

Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), Chairman of the Subcommittee, strongly denounced the plan. Perry explained that the Obama Administration has not consulted with state and local law enforcement in making the decision to move the detainees to U.S. facilities.

Last month, the Major County Sheriff's Association sent a letter to the president to express their opposition to the plan. The letter states, "Detainees, deemed too dangerous to release, should not be brought to the homeland where they will pose a threat to the local communities we serve."

Perry noted that although the president touts the millions of dollars that could be saved by closing the facility, cash-strapped states and localities will be the ones footing the bill for the enhanced security measures necessary to protect their communities.

"Consider the propaganda value for ISIS if it successfully sprang a hardened Gitmo terrorist on American soil," Perry said. "Anyone who thinks this is impossible is suffering from, as the 9/11 Commission put it, 'a failure of imagination.'"


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