Amherst, Mass., Agrees to Take Gitmo Detainees
An Amherst Special Town Meeting approved a resolution last night welcoming one or two cleared Guantanamo Bay detainees to Amherst, Mass. — once Congress agrees to lift the latest bans on their transfer. The town of 30,000 residents says it’s the first municipality in the nation to officially welcome the detainees.
I reported earlier that Amherst was considering taking a few of the detainees, at the urging of a group called No More Guantanamos. At least one of the men it was considering inviting still had not been cleared for release, however. The town’s resolution last night clarified that they’d only take those that the government has determined do not pose a security threat.
Of about 220 men still being held at Guantanamo, about 75 have been cleared for release. Many have not been returned home either for fear of persecution in their home countries, or because the United States does not trust the government of their home country to ensure they don’t join local terrorist groups upon their return.
Amherst Town Meeting is the town’s governing body. Its 250 members are elected by precinct to represent the town.