Federal government aquiring Illinois prison for 100 Guantanamo detainees

In its efforts to close Guantanamo, the federal government is aquring a portion of the Thompson Correctional Center, a supermax prison in northwestern Illinois, to house 100 detainees. The Obama Administration promised Illinois Governor Quinn the detainees will have no interaction with other inmates.

Minority congressional Republican leader John Boehner claims that two pieces of legislation must be passed at Congress before any transfer can occur, and that Republican leaders will attempt to block the bills. These bills would challenge current law stating the detainees cannot be brought to American soil unless they are prosecuted here.

As many as several dozen will be imprisoned indefinitely–deemed ineligible for prosecution but too dangerous to be released. Lawyers for inmates in this category have filed habeas corpus petitions challenging this status.

Critics are concerned that should the petitions succeed, terrorists could potentially be released into the free world in America. The Obama Administration addressed this by assuring the detainees would either be brought to trial or moved overseas.

Amnesty International is equally critical, claiming that the detainees have not been charged with criminal activity, and that the only change occurring to resolve the Guantanamo situation is location.

There are about 210 detainees in Guantanamo. Obama has transferred 30 to other countries, with hopes to send 100 more overseas.

Officials say they plan to prosecute 40 of the remaining individuals in military or civilan courts.