Obama signs bill allowing transfer of Guantanamo detainees to US for trial

Obama signs bill allowing transfer of Guantanamo detainees to US for trial

[JURIST] US President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed [press release] the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2010 [HR 2892 materials] into law, which allows for Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees to be transferred to the US for prosecution. The bill allocates $42.78 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] and, among other provisions, requires certain information about each transferred detainee to be disclosed to Congress including costs, legal rationales, and possible risks. Additionally, in order to close the Guantanamo facility, the president will be required to submit a report to Congress detailing the disposition of each current detainee. The appropriations bill also contains provisions ending a rule that expelled foreigners who married into residency if their American spouses died within two years of marriage. The controversial expulsion rule had led to pending legal actions and a two-year deferment [press release] on DHS enforcement.

The House and Senate [JURIST reports] approved final versions of the bill earlier this month after terms of the legislation were agreed upon [text, PDF; JURIST report] by the Homeland Security Appropriations Conference Committee [list, PDF]. The agreement came shortly after US Attorney General Eric Holder [official profile] told reporters that the Obama administration may miss its January deadline for closing the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, echoing prior statements [JURIST reports] by top administration officials.