COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Gov. Nikki Haley says the federal government has kept her in the dark about plans to potentially transfer Guantanamo detainees to South Carolina.
Haley told a U.S. House Homeland Security subcommittee on Thursday that Defense Department officials surveyed the Naval brig near Charleston but have said nothing about whether they still considering bringing prisoners there.
Haley has been outspoken in her opposition to transferring remaining detainees from the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Thursday’s discussion centers on implications for states and local communities.
Legislation introduced Monday maintains a ban on bringing prisoners from Guantanamo to the United States. The longstanding congressional prohibition has kept President Barack Obama from fulfilling a campaign pledge to close the facility.
U.S. Senator Tim Scott released the statement below following Governor Haley’s testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency regarding the dangers of moving the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities to South Carolina:
I want to thank Governor Haley for her testimony today on behalf of the people of South Carolina and the communities the President’s reckless plan to move Guantanamo Bay could affect. As Governor Haley reaffirmed today, the President’s plan to move Guantanamo Bay terrorists to domestic soil, including possibly to the Naval Brig in Hanahan, needlessly endangers the safety of American communities. A majority of Congress and the American people oppose the President’s dreadful plan, and I will continue working with my colleagues in the Senate to pass the Detaining Terrorists to Protect American Act and our resolution calling for the President to send captured ISIS fighters to Guantanamo.