JURIST Supported by the University of Pittsburgh
Serious law. Primary sources. Global perspective.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Obama administration to house Guantanamo detainees at Illinois prison
Jaclyn Belczyk at 4:42 PM ET

[JURIST] The Obama administration said Tuesday that it plans to purchase [presidential memoranda] the Thomson Correctional Center (TCC) [DOC backgrounder] in northwestern Illinois to house inmates from Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. In a letter [text, PDF] to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn [official website], the secretary of state, secretary of defense, attorney general, secretary of homeland security, and director of national intelligence said that the facility will house both Guantanamo detainees and other federal inmates. According to the letter, no detainee will be released onto US soil:

The President has no intention of releasing any detainees in the United States. Current law effectively bars the release of the Guantanamo detainees on U.S. soil, and the Federal Government has broad authority under current law to detain individuals during removal proceedings and pending the execution of final removal orders.

Quinn and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) [official website] welcomed [press release] Tuesday's announcement, saying it "will have a tremendously positive impact on the local economy." Republicans are already opposing the move, with Senate Republican Conference chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) [official website] saying [press release], "I have yet to hear one good reason why moving these terrorists from off our shores right into the heart of our country makes us safer."

Last week, the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration was seeking Illinois congressional support [JURIST report] for a plan to purchase the TCC to house terrorism suspects currently being held at Guantanamo. Both Durbin and Quinn have consistently favored [JURIST report] moving Guantanamo detainees to the northwestern Illinois prison facility, as it is estimated that the facility could bring 2,340-3,250 new jobs to the community and provide an estimated $790 million to $1.09 billion economic impact over four years. Not all local leaders support the possible transfer of accused terrorists to Illinois, however. In November, US Representative Mark Kirk (R-IL) [official website] wrote a letter [text] to President Barack Obama, urging him not to transfer detainees to the TCC because of fears it would lead to terrorist activity in the Chicago area. Even though the prison has been chosen as a domestic facility for Guantanamo transferees, in order to hold detainees in US, Congress would have to change a law specifically prohibiting detainee transfers into the US except for trials [JURIST report].

Link |  | print | subscribe | RSS feeds | latest newscast | Facebook page

For more legal news check the Paper Chase Archive...


 Federal Judge declares DC gun law unconstitutional
3:20 PM ET, July 27

 European Court exposes illegal detention facilities linked to CIA's extraordinary rendition program in Poland
3:11 PM ET, July 27

 US appeals court sets date for oral arguments on same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin
12:04 PM ET, July 26

 click for more...

Get JURIST legal news delivered daily to your e-mail!


Unprecedented Notice of Warrantless Wiretapping in a Closed Case
Ramzi Kassem
CUNY School of Law


Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.


Paper Chase welcomes comments, tips and URLs from readers. E-mail us at JURIST@jurist.org