Illinois Lawmakers Split on Transfering Gitmo Prisoners to Thomson
Although some prominent Illinoisans have come out strongly in favor of the plan to transfer some Guantanamo Bay detainees to the largely vacant Thomson Correctional Center, the state’s Congressional delegation reportedly remains divided on the issue, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Democratic supporters, including Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, cite the thousands of jobs it would bring to the depressed Northwest part of the state, while Republican detractors like Mark Kirk, the GOP front-runner for Illinois’ other Senate seat, claim it would make the area a terrorist target.
The prison is still reportedly the leading candidate for housing the Gitmo detainees. But notably, the U.S. government has assured the lawmakers from Illinois that no Guantanamo detainees would ever be released into the United States, and inmates at Thomsen won’t get to see any friends or family members.
In the meantime, the U.S. government is scrambling to get more of its European allies to accept the prisoners on their soil. Just this week, the Justice Department announced that four more Guantanamo prisoners had been shipped to Europe: two to Italy, one to France and one to Hungary.