In his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama repeated his resolve to shut down the Guantánamo Bay detention facility in Cuba, saying the prison and what it represents are “not who we are,” because the American people have “a profound commitment to justice.”
He told the U.S. Congress that the facility is being used as a recruitment tool by violent extremists.
“Since I’ve been president, we’ve worked responsibly to cut the population of Gitmo in half. Now it is time to finish the job,” he said.
At its height, the number of detainees at Guantánamo was more than 800. It has been reduced to 127. The Obama administration wants Congress to remove restrictions that have limited the options for managing the detainee population.
The president has designated a special envoy to engage other governments about the potential repatriation or resettlement of detainees. He is also trying to work with Congress on a mechanism to prosecute detainees in courts and military commissions when appropriate.