Today, House Democrats and the full Senate were sent a letter that opposes a blanket ban on transfers of Guantanamo detainees to the United States. Justice at Stake and a JAS partner group, The Constitution Project, were among fifteen organizations that signed the letter.
A full ban on transfers would deny detainees admittance to the United States, regardless of purpose, and would undermine America’s anti-terrorism effort, the letter said.
“A blanket ban on transfers would restrict the Obama administration’s ability to employ what has been one of the most valuable and effective counterterrorism tools available – criminal prosecutions in regular federal courts,” the letter said. It cited the more than 400 individuals who have been successfully convicted of terrorism-related cases, as well as the on-going trial of Ahmed Ghailani, a former Guantanamo detainee charged with terrorism crimes, in the Southern District of New York.
The House is expected to consider a blanket ban on Guantanamo detainee transfers this afternoon while the military construction appropriations bill is on the House floor. Gavel Grab will provide an update later today.