01.26.16

Gardner Reacts to Secretary Carter’s Admission That Transfer of GTMO Detainees to the U.S. is “Against the Law"

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) released the following statement after Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter stated that the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States is “against the law:" 

“Secretary Carter is the second top Administration official to confirm what Congress and Americans across the country already know: the President’s potential transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States is illegal,” said Gardner. “The President must recognize that he should not prioritize the fulfillment of a campaign promise over the law and the will of the American people. I remain firmly opposed to the transfer of any detainees to U.S. soil, and will remain vigilant in assuring the law of the land is upheld."

Background:

  • In a statement before the House Judiciary Committee, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch stated that existing law does not permit the Obama Administration to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States.
  • In November of 2015, Gardner along with Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Pat Robert (R-KS) held a press conference in response to the White House’s announcement that the President will not rule out executive action to close Guantanamo Bay.
  • The potential transfer was met with opposition locally in Colorado. In November of 2015, more than 40 sheriffs sent the President a letter expressing “strong opposition” to the potential transfer. 
  • In October of 2015, Gardner sent a letter to President Obama asking for clarification on the legal authority of the Administration’s actions in response to reports of the Administration’s plan to conduct relocation site visits in Colorado. Gardner has not received a response to the letter to date.
  • In September of 2015, Gardner urged the President to abandon his potential plan to bring Guantanamo detainees to the United States after learning about it through media reports.

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.