Thursday, May 7, 2009

McDonnell Statement Regarding Guantanamo Bay Detainees

 McDonnell Statement on New Congressional Legislation Regarding Guantanamo Bay Detainees

Richmond– This morning Republican members of Congress, including Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor (R-7th), announced new legislation that would grant Governors and state legislatures final approval authority before any detainee held at Guantanamo Bay could be transferred, or released, into their state. The bill, H.R. 2294, is titled the “Keep Terrorists Out of America Act”. The bill will also require the President, or his designee, as part of the state approval process, to certify that the detainee does not pose a security risk, and to inform Congress as to why a specific location has been chosen.
           Bob McDonnell, Republican gubernatorial candidate and former Attorney General of Virginia, issued the following statement regarding this new legislation:
          “One of the chief obligations of the Governor is to work to ensure the safety and security of the citizens of the Commonwealth. The decision to close Guantanamo Bay has been made. Now serious decisions must be made regarding where the detainees will go next. These are suspected terrorists, some of whom were plotters in the September 11th attacks. There are serious public safety concerns regarding their future destinations. Each Governor and state legislature should have the final say over whether or not a detainee will be placed in a location within their borders. I oppose the transfer of any Guantanamo Bay detainees to Virginia.”
           “As a former prosecutor, I know our public safety professionals can safely handle the housing of any individual. That is not the issue. The issue is what impact the placement of a detainee in a Virginia location would have on citizens who live nearby. Any routine movement of a detainee would require a significant disruption of daily life in the area. It would shut down roads, impede commerce, and greatly inconvenience Virginians. Also, once a detainee is placed in a location that area will become known worldwide. That raises additional serious public safety concerns. These issues make it clear to me that it is not in the best interests of our citizens to have Guantanamo Bay detainees moved to Virginia. With passage of this legislation I will be able, with the members of our legislature, to ensure that no Guantanamo Bay detainees come to Virginia during my term as Governor.”

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2009, Politics, State Politics

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