Guantanamo Closure: Why Obama’s 2009 Order Is Still on Hold

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Hunger strikes are drawing legal and human rights related attention to Guantanamo Bay, but intentions to close the detention center are proving problematic. Some of the concerns had to do with those prisoners who are not deemed releasable as of yet for national security purposes. More realistically, part of the problem has to do with other national concerns and interests taking priority while the President faces some opposition and controversy on Gitmo, despite having been clear multiple times on his ethical and practical reasons for demanding its closure.

In the past, Congress has ruled against the any sort of release taking place on domestic soil, and for related reasons has voiced concerns over what would happen if prisoners were transferred to facilities such as one in Standish, Michigan, or Thomson, Illinois — a suggested solution from Obama’s national security team, according to The New York Times.

It’s been over five years since Obama signed an executive order for the closure of Guantanamo and ordered an “immediate review of all Guantanamo detentions,” and an eventual closure of the entire system. Included in the order of January, 2009, was a report to be made on detainees and how such a process could take place with consideration to Congressional concerns. The report dealt specifically with immigration laws, stating that it is unlikely that they would apply to released detainees and as such could not take advantage of relief offered to others under immigration acts. As such, concerns over transferring prisoners within the U.S.