Closing Gitmo: Timing is Everything

Under current immigration law, just because detainees may be released doesn't mean they have a legal right to live here in this country. Yet the U.S. can't indefinitely hold aliens just because they don't have a legal basis for being here. That means Congress will likely be in the position of sorting out what to do about detainees who are in a kind of no-man's land.

Separately, sources say President Bush is likely to put the onus on Congress to also deal with how to handle detainees the courts say are properly held. One solution is to send those detainees to the federal prison at Ft. Leavenworth, or spread them among U.S. naval brigs.

But the notion of potentially hundreds of terror suspects taking up residence in any congressman's district is "a political hot potato," said attorney Casey. Or, as Perino suggested at the White House today, "it is possible that some of these detainees, after challenging their detention in court, could be released into the United States… I'm sure that none of us want Khalid Sheikh Mohammed walking around our neighborhoods."

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