This press release explains the effort to keep Gitmo prisoners from being moved to the Thomson, Illinois, maximum security prison that Illinois hopes to sell to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Washington representatives associated with it are U.S. Senator Mark Kirk and Congressmen Don Manzullo, Joe Wlash, John Shimkus, Joe Walsh, Aaron Schock, Peter Roskam, Judy Biggert, Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger and Bobby Schilling.
Kirk, Manzullo, IL Colleagues Urge President Obama to
Abandon Efforts to Move Gitmo Detainees to NW Illinois
Firm commitment needed so Congress can focus on opening Thomson as a federal prison
[WASHINGTON] Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), Congressman Don Manzullo (R-Egan), Joe Walsh (E-McHenry) and seven of their Illinois colleagues today called on President Barack Obama to heed the bipartisan calls from Congress and abandon efforts to move terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo), or elsewhere abroad, to a vacant state-owned prison in northwest Illinois.
In a letter to the President sent this afternoon, the federal legislators said Congress will never provide funds to purchase the vacant Thomson Correctional Center and run it as a federal prison as long as the Obama Administration continues to express its desire to house the Gitmo detainees there. In addition to Kirk and Manzullo (who represents Thomson), the letter was signed by U.S. Reps. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville), Judy Biggert (R-Hinsdale), Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton), Aaron Schock (R-Peoria), Randy Hultgren (R-Winfield), Joe Walsh (R-McHenry), Adam Kinzinger (R-Manteno), and Bobby Schilling (R-Colona).
“The only way Congress will ever seriously consider approving funds to acquire and operate Thomson as a federal prison is if the Administration commits to backing off its plan once and for all to move Gitmo detainees to Thomson. We implore your Administration abandon its efforts to house Gitmo detainees at Thomson and join us in turning it into a maximum-security federal prison,” the letter states.
The vacant Thomson prison in Carroll County, IL could house up to 2,600 maximum security federal inmates with very little renovation at a great price to taxpayers. It would immediately help reduce the federal prison system’s 52 percent overcrowding problem in its maximum security division while providing much needed jobs and economic opportunities to the people of northwest Illinois.
The signed letter is attached and the text appears here.