SC Gov. Haley responds to Gitmo closing plans

Nikki Haley
FILE - In this Sept. 2, 2015, photo. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. Americans should resist "the siren call of the angriest voices" in how it treats immigrants, Haley said Jan. 12, 2016, as the GOP used its formal response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to try softening the tough stance embraced by some of the GOP's leading presidential candidates. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA/AP) – President Obama has announced plans to close Guantanamo Bay.

He says the detention facility at Guantanamo undermines national security and US values.

SC Gov. Nikki Haley released the following statement on Facebook Tuesday afternoon.

“President Obama is ignoring the dangerous reality that the terrorist threat to our nation is growing every day and doubling down on closing Guantanamo Bay. But we have made our stance very clear: we will fight any attempt to bring terrorists into our states. This is no time to send terrorists back to the battlefield.”

Obama says the detention center is counterproductive in the fight against terrorism because it’s used as propaganda to recruit terrorists and drains military resources.

The White House released Obama’s plan to close the facility, but the plan faces stiff opposition from the GOP-led Congress.

The plan calls for transferring remaining detainees to the United States and seeks up to $475 million in construction costs that would ultimately be offset by as much as $180 million per year in operating cost savings.

It does not specify where in the U.S. the detainees would go.

Gov. Haley is not alone, though. Other South Carolina lawmakers expressed their opinions about President Obama’s plans to close Guantanamo Bay.

Congressman Jeff Duncan introduced legislation today that would give the House of Representatives the authority to file a lawsuit against the Obama Administration if they were to violate or attempt to violate the law regarding the transfer of detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

Duncan said “the President said in his signing statement that his Administration may ignore the restrictions on the transfer of detainees. The language in the bill specifically states that the President must notify the appropriate committees at least 30 days prior to the transfer of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, while clearly prohibiting any transfer to the United States. Furthermore, the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees into the United States is completely prohibited under the law. It is plain and simple language, yet the President continues to suggest that he will move forward anyway. No President is above the law. When Congress passes a law, we have an obligation to the Constitution to ensure that it is followed.”

Senator Tim Scott supported Duncan’s legislation, saying “It is clear that the President’s plan to move Guantanamo to domestic soil would break the law. I want to thank Jeff for his efforts to ensure that Congress is using every tool at our disposal to prevent this reckless plan from moving forward.”

Associated Press contributed to this article.

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