The Obama administration on Tuesday sent Congress its plan to shut down the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center and relocate detainees to a U.S.-based prison. President Barack Obama acknowledged that it will be a challenge to get the move approved by Congress.
Here is what we know:
WHY? Obama says keeping Guantanamo open is “contrary to our values” and undermines the U.S. standing in the world.
WHY NOT? Opponents say changing the detention center’s ZIP code won’t change the nature of the suspects’ detention and brings those security concerns to the United States.
COST SAVINGS: The plan calls for closing Guantanamo and moving any detainees that can’t be safely transferred to another country into a U.S. facility, costing up to $475 million for construction, with up to $305 million annual operating costs. Running Guantanamo costs $445 million a year, and keeping it open will cost $225 million in repairs.
WHO WOULD COME TO US: Out of the 91 detainees, 35 are expected to be transferred out to other countries by this summer. The remaining 56 include detainees that the government believes can never be released, but aren’t likely to be charged with crimes because of insufficient evidence.
WHERE WOULD THEY GO: The plan doesn’t recommend a specific site, but a Pentagon assessment team visited seven facilities last year in Leavenworth, Kansas; Charleston, South Carolina; Florence, Colorado; and Canon City, Colorado. The plan also notes six other facilities and says one could be built from scratch.
THE ODDS: Even Obama acknowledged Tuesday that it will be a tough fight. Congress passed a law prohibiting the administration from moving Guantanamo detainees to the U.S.
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