Lynch to Congress: Current Law Blocks Administration From Transferring Guantanamo Detainees to Colorado

Washington, DC –  Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today issued the below statement following Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s statement before the House Judiciary Committee that existing law does not permit the Obama Administration to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States:

“Current law prevents the Obama Administration from using funds to transfer, release, or assist in the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States, and I’m pleased that Attorney General Loretta Lynch publicly recognized that before Congress today,” said Gardner. “While I have yet to receive a response from the Administration about the legal basis for its assistance in the transfer of enemy combatants to Colorado, I am comforted that the top law official in the land has pledged that the Department of Justice will respect the laws as passed by Congress and work to ensure that the Administration acts in accordance with the law if it moves forward with the closure of Guantanamo Bay.”

Gardner has repeatedly urged the Obama Administration to abandon its reported plan to bring Guantanamo detainees to Colorado. In October, Gardner sent a letter to President Obama asking about the Administration’s legal basis for the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. This past week, more than 40 elected Colorado county sheriffs sent a letter to President Obama expressing their “strong opposition” to the potential transfer of detainees to Colorado. Neither Gardner nor the sheriffs have received a response from the Administration.


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.