February 6, 2016

Stupak, DHS Appropriations Committee say Gitmo transfers would be orderly


STANDISH — As the discussion of whether or not Guantanamo Bay detainees should be transferred to Standish Max continues, Rep. Bart Stupak (D – Menominee) and the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Committee released statements Thursday on when, and how detainees would be brought onto American soil.

“In the FY 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Conference Agreement the U.S. House of Representatives ensured there will be an orderly process of any transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to U.S. soil,” Stupak said. “The agreement also ensures affected communities have time to review any proposed transfer at least 45 days before the proposal would take effect.”

Stupak’s statement came the same day the U.S. House of Representatives voted 307 to 114 to support Gitmo detainees being transferred to the mainland, but only for trials. No mention of detaining the Guantanamo Bay terrorism suspects on American soil was included in the house vote.

In the committee fact sheet, which was e-mailed to the Independent from Stupak’s office, some of the concerns being raised at recent local meetings and town halls were addressed.

Some of the points in the DHS report include prohibiting the release of detainees held in Gitmo into the United States and any U.S. territories; a determination of the risk that the individual might instigate an act of terrorism within the U.S. or its territories if transferred; a determination of the risk that the individual might advocate, coerce, or incite violent extremism, ideologically motivated criminal activity, or acts of terrorism, among inmate populations at incarceration facilities within the U.S. or its territories if the individual were transferred to such a facility; the costs associated with transferring the individual in question; a copy of a notification to the Governor of the state to which the individual will be transferred with a certification by the Attorney General of the United States in classified form at least 14 days prior to such transfer (with supporting documentation) that the individual poses little or no security risk to the U.S.; an assessment of any risk to the national security of the U.S. or its citizens, including members of the Armed Services of the U.S., that is posed by such transfer and the actions taken to mitigate such risk; prohibiting immigration benefits other than for prosecution; prohibiting detainee transfers to other countries without proper steps taken by the President and Congress; and a mandate to include all Gitmo detainees on a “no-fly list” unless steps are taken to prove a detainee doesn’t pose a risk to the U.S.

“I have worked with federal officials from the Department of Defense, the Bureau of Prisons and the White House to highlight Standish as a top-notch facility with dedicated and skilled employees,” Stupak said. “It is my hope that the federal government can utilize the facility at some point in the future.”

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