President Donald Trump is expected to announce during his State of the Union address that he plans to keep open the high-security military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – reversing a decision by President Barack Obama to close the controversial prison, according to a senior administration official and a senior State Department official.
Trump would do so by issuing an executive order that retains the U.S. right to move new detainees to the facility if warranted, but there are no plans to do so, according to a State Department official.
U.S. diplomats have been instructed to inform relevant embassies of the change in policy following the State of the Union speech Tuesday night.
Trump’s planned executive order, first reported by POLITICO, would rescind a prior order issued by Obama.
Obama made closing the Guantanamo Bay prison one his first and highest priorities as president, but he was not able to achieve that signature goal.
In 2009, Obama signed an executive ordered stating that the prison be closed “as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order,” but it remains open because of resistance from Congress.