Berkeley May Welcome Freed Guantanamo Detainees
BERKELEY (KCBS)- The Berkeley City Council plans to vote next week on a resolution inviting a few Guantanamo Bay detainees who have been cleared of wrong-doing to resettle in the East Bay city.
Of the more than three dozen detainees who’ve been cleared, Berkeley would invite two to live with local families.
Rita Maran sits on the city’s Peace and Justice Commission, which came up with the resolution. She said the idea is for Berkeley to right some wrongs by the federal government by helping people who were never tried, held for years, and in some cases tortured.
“There’s a Statue of Liberty in New York harbor and it talks about opening its doors for people who need to find refuge,” said Maran. “This is obviously the kind of reasoning that caused those words to be said, and caused this country to be a country that offers refuge, as it has over its history.”
The plan could hit a roadblock with the Pentagon. A military authorization act signed by the president last month bars the US from funding the relocation of cleared detainees.
The detainees have no passports, no visas and no money. They can’t return to their native countries for fear of harassment or torture.
Berkeley’s city manager is advising the council not to take action on the detainees, and at least one council-member is opposed to the resolution.
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