WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Defense is sending a team to military installations in Kansas and South Carolina to investigate the possibility of relocating some Guantanamo Bay prisoners to U.S. soil, media outlets reported on Saturday.
Fox News and CNN said the Pentagon on Friday notified the U.S. Congress that the team was already visiting the disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and would then survey the naval brig at Charleston, South Carolina, in the coming weeks.
Republicans, who control Congress, swiftly condemned the idea of moving detainees into the United States and close to major military posts, according to Fox News.
President Barack Obama pledged at his inauguration in 2009 that he would close the detention facility at the Guantanamo naval base and his administration is racing to make good on the promise before he leaves office. Recently, it secured commitments from a dozen countries to accept nearly half of the 52 Guantanamo prisoners already cleared for transfer.
But proposals to relocate inmates to places within the United States have mostly met fierce resistance, with current law banning the transfer of detainees to the U.S. mainland.
Last month, the Obama administration outlined a plan for moving dozens of inmates deemed too dangerous to release to the United States to "Supermax" or military prisons for trials or continued military detention.
CNN reported that the military site visits were intended determine the costs and requirements of housing the prisoners.
Fox News added that there is "a broad list of facilities" being considered, and no final selection has been made.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert, editing by David Evans)