CPC Co-Chairs Statement on President Obama’s Plan to Close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center

WASHINGTON– Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) today released the following statement on President Obama’s plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison:

“We applaud the President for putting forward his proposal today and we look forward to a rigorous examination and debate on its merits.

“The Congressional Progressive Caucus has long advocated for the closure of our detention center at Guantanamo Bay. The detention center has been a stain on America’s human rights record since it opened in 2002. Reports of abuse, mistreatment and the denial of due process to detainees undermine America’s leadership on human rights and erode our standing in the world.

“But closing Guantanamo must be about more than shuttering a facility. Our country must publicly acknowledge and reject the legacy of the abusive practices outlined in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Report on Torture. These practices are used as a propaganda tool for ISIS and other terrorist groups to attract new recruits. We must stop harming our relationships with our allies and compounding the threats our troops face by continuing this policy of endless detention.

“For fourteen years, billions of taxpayer dollars have been squandered on Guantanamo and these policies that betray our values. It is eighty times more expensive to hold a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay than in the federal prison system, and exceedingly less safe to do so. We must return to the principles of law and justice laid out in our Constitution.”