On January 22, 2009, President Obama signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison that holds hundreds of the world's most dangerous terrorists within one year. This decision was made without a backup plan in place for where these terrorists would go. So the key question remains: What is our nation's plan for dealing with these terrorists? Will they be brought into the United States? Will they be released back onto the battlefield? These questions haven't been answered, and the American people deserve answers.
The Keep Terrorists Out of America Act gives Members of Congress an opportunity to stand with the American people by affirming their opposition to releasing the terrorists at Guantanamo prison or bringing them into the United States. It also makes clear that governors and state legislatures must pre-approve the transfer or release of any terrorist detainee into their respective states. And lastly it requires the President to meet strict criteria and certification standards before terrorists housed at the Guantanamo prison could be brought to the United States. Following is a summary of the bill:
Affirming Congress' Opposition to the Release and Transfer of Terrorists. The bill affirms Congress' opposition to transferring or releasing terrorists held at the Guantanamo Bay prison into the United States. Most Americans do not support releasing these terrorists from Guantanamo Bay prison and transferring them into the United States. The bill gives Congress an opportunity to show that it stands with the American people on this critical matter, and opposes the release and transfer of these terrorists.
Governor & State Legislature Pre-Approval. The measure prohibits the Administration from transferring or releasing any terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay to any state without express approval from the state's governor and legislature, and certifies to Congress that strict requirements have been met. For example, the Administration must certify to the respective governor and state legislature that the detainee does not pose a security risk to the United States. The certifications must be made 60 days before any transfer or release.
Presidential Certification Requirements. The measure prohibits the President from transferring or releasing a terrorist detainee into the United States unless he provides the following notification and certification to Congress regarding: