Obama May Repeal Law Banning Gitmo Transfers to US Mainland – Envoys

Obama May Repeal Law Banning Gitmo Transfers to US Mainland – Envoys © REUTERS/ Carlos Barria

03:34 03.03.2016(updated 03:35 03.03.2016) Get short URL

President Barack Obama will ask Congress to repeal a ban on Guantanamo Bay detainee transfers to the United States in order to close the detention facility this year, officials from the departments of Defense and State told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — “We want Congress to remove the prohibition, absolutely. We can’t transfer people to the United States right now, so we want to change that and we are working with Congress to do that,” Department of Defense Special Envoy for Guantanamo Detention Closure Paul Lewis told Sputnik on Wednesday.

Under the 2016 defense spending bill, the Congress included a provision to ban the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to locations inside the United States. At present, there are fewer than forty prisoners who would likely qualify for a transfer to a US-based facility.

Department of State Special Envoy for Guantanamo Detention Closure Lee Wolosky told Sputnik that President Obama is “determined right now to work with the Congress to close the facility.” Wolosky affirmed that repealing the ban on detainee transfers to the US mainland is part of the work with Congress.

In February, Obama sent a plan to Congress outlining how to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and transfer the remaining 91 prisoners. Of the remaining detainees, 36 have been approved for transfer, but remain incarcerated.

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