Cantor (R-VA) Joins House GOP Members to Introduce Keep Terrorists Out of America Act
Press Release from Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA)
May 7, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC – House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) today joined several Republican colleagues to introduce the Keep Terrorists Out of America Act — legislation intended to prevent prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay from being relocated to the United States.
The Keep Terrorists Out of America Act requires pre-approval from governors and state legislatures to transfer or release any terrorist detainee into their respective state. The legislation establishes strict criteria and certification standards that must be met before any detainee is released into the United States.
Cantor is also an original co-sponsor of H.R. 1186, which seeks to prohibit prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility from being transferred to federal prisons or military bases in Virginia.
At a press conference earlier today on Capitol Hill, Mr. Cantor made the following statement:
“This is the one area where I’m going to take a protectionist stance—protection from terrorists. If there’s ever a time for protectionism, this is it.
“Coming from Virginia, where there are two facilities on the list of potential sites for relocating these terrorists, I am particularly passionate about making sure that the President’s desire, and some in this congress, to bring these enemy combatants to the soil of the United States does not happen. With the communities surrounding Naval Base Norfolk and those around Quantico, in their interest—this must not happen.”
Facts on the Keep Terrorists Out of America Act (Courtesy of the Office of the Republican Leader):
Affirming Congress’ Opposition to the Release and Transfer of Terrorists. The bill affirms Congress’ opposition to transferring or releasing terrorists held at the Guantanamo Bay prison into the United States. Most Americans do not support releasing these terrorists from Guantanamo Bay prison and transferring them into the United States. The bill gives Congress an opportunity to show that it stands with the American people on this critical matter, and opposes the release and transfer of these terrorists.
Governor & State Legislature Pre-Approval. The measure prohibits the Administration from transferring or releasing any terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay to any state without express approval from the state’s governor and legislature, and certifies to Congress that strict requirements have been met. For example, the Administration must certify to the respective governor and state legislature that the detainee does not pose a security risk to the United States. The certifications must be made 60 days before any transfer or release.
Presidential Certification Requirements. The measure prohibits the President from transferring or releasing a terrorist detainee into the United States unless he provides the following notification and certification to Congress regarding:
• The name of the detainee and transfer/release location in the United States.
• The release/transfer would not negatively impact continued prosecution of the detainee.
• The release/transfer would not negatively impact continued detention of the detainee.
• The ability of federal judges to release detainees into the United States.