President Donald Trump is preparing to sign an executive order that would reverse an Obama-era directive to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to a draft document obtained by POLITICO.
Trump is expected to announce plans to sign the order during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, or in the days before or after the address, a person familiar with the issue said.
The executive order, according to a draft State Department cable that officials are planning to soon send to U.S. embassies around the world, would rescind part of a separate 2009 order signed by then-President Barack Obama mandating that the facility be “closed as soon as practicable.”
The order has limited practical effect: Obama was never able to make good on the order amid resistance from members of Congress, who blocked his efforts to move detainees to prisons in the United States and raised concerns that released inmates could revert back to terrorism. However, Obama moved nearly 200 Guantanamo inmates to the custody of foreign countries during his presidency. Just 41 detainees remain in the facility today.