Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., promoted this week an up-or-down vote in the House Appropriations Committee to deny terrorists released from Guantanamo Bay any federal or state support.
He described the issue as especially timely and relevant due to the Chinese Uighar jihadists that the Obama Administration plans to release into the Virginia suburbs.
Tiahrt is introducing a bill called the “No Welfare for Terrorists Act of 2009” that prohibits any detainee being held at Guantanamo Bay from receiving welfare benefits paid for by taxpayer dollars. He is a senior Republican on the House Appropriations Committee.
He was joined at a press conference by other supporters of the legislation: Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring) and Rosemary Jenks of Numbers USA).
“We are trying to keep terrorists off American soil not welcome them with welfare benefits,” said Tiahrt. “I will be giving the House Appropriations Committee a chance to take a stand on this issue tomorrow when I offer an amendment prohibiting the transfer of any detainee held at Guantanamo Bay to the United States.
“We do not want terrorists coming to Kansas, to New York or any other state. Keeping terrorists away from our communities and families is the goal, and I look forward to the opportunity we have tomorrow in the Appropriations Committee to ensure these detainees are not brought to our country,” Tiahrt concluded.
“President Obama has made a terrible mistake by closing the most secure, state-of-the-art detention and interrogation facility in the world -- without knowing what will be done with the unlawful combatants currently incarcerated there,” said Gaffney.
“Incredibly, he is reportedly about to compound that mistake by transferring at least some of the detainees here,” Gaffney added. “Congressman Tiahrt’s amendment, which would prohibit such transfers, may be the difference between life and death for potentially large numbers of people in this country. It should enjoy strong support from both Democrats and Republicans.”
“As a citizen, the prospect of Gitmo detainees being released into the country they threatened is deeply troubling,” said Hanna. “As a taxpayer, the prospect that they might receive benefits paid for by the American people is outrageous to contemplate. Congressman Tiahrt’s efforts would ensure that this never happens.”
“To bring these detainees back to the United States – for any reason – let alone to release them into our communities, is a slap in the face to our armed services,” said Jenks. “It is also a slap in the face to all Americans who have supported fighting the war and who know what happens when our immigration system is used to bring terrorists into the Unites States as it was prior to 9-11.”
The Obama administration has indicated detainees released in the United States would likely receive government assistance to help them return to society.
Furthermore, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair has indicated that detainees released in the U.S. would likely receive government assistance to help them return to society. According to a news report, Blair said last month, “If we are to release them in the United States, we need some sort of assistance for them to start a new life. You can't just put them on the street.”
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