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President Barack Obama Might Bring Guantanamo Bay Prisoners to the U.S.

First Posted: Feb 24, 2016 10:25 AM EST
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President Barack Obama wants to transfer the remaining 91 prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay jail to the United States in a bid to end the highly-controversial existence of the detention facility.

According to the proposal he presented to Congress on Tuesday, Obama plans to have the Cuban prison closed in order to accomplish his long-standing goal of closing the prison that previously housed almost 800 prisoners who are mostly people accused of terrorism.

The U.S. President seeks the support of the legislators to approve the proposed transfer and closure, which is estimated to cost the country as much as $475 million.

In a statement, Obama reiterated that keeping the detention facility open would undermine the values Americans are trying hard to protect.

"Keeping this facility open is contrary to our values. It undermines our standing in the world. It is viewed as a stain on our broader record of upholding the highest standards of rule of law," he said.

He further explained on Tuesday how the proposal's approval would be a turning point to help the country move on from a chapter in history that provided valuable lessons to Americans to date.

"This is about closing a chapter in our history. It reflects the lessons we've learned since 9/11 -- lessons that must guide our nation going forward," he said.

However, Republicans, as well as some Democrats, coil at the thought of having terrorists on American soil.

Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, one of the proposal's opponents, deemed the move illogical considering that the people Obama wants to bring to American soil "are literally enemy combatants."

"His proposal fails to provide critical details required by law, including the exact cost and location of an alternate detention facility," House Speaker Paul Ryan explained.

Human rights advocates have repeatedly questioned the very existence of the prison that housed people accused of terrorism in 2002, back when former President George W. Bush was running the White House.

At the time, Bush wanted to create a facility where those deemed enemy combatants and terrorists are kept under check, but critics deemed it a bad idea considering that those housed in the prison were either innocent or had not yet been proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

Obama, who promised to resolve this issue once and for all, has yet to find a way to make good on his word. This means he might resort to executive action in order to close the jail if the Congress does not back him up.

Apparently, the POTUS initially had legislators supporting his cause but backed out "because they were worried about the politics."

See his full statement below.

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