A government memo leaked to a conservative web site indicates Guantanamo prisoners may soon be moved to Illinois.
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Gov. Pat Quinn issued a statement Friday calling the document, posted on biggovernment.com, a sign "the administration has narrowed its focus" to the Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois. They say no final decision has been made, but the memo is an encouraging development.
"Even though the final decision has not been made, we are encouraged by this development," the statement said. "We will continue working with the White House, the Defense Department and the Justice Department to address important questions regarding security and job creation, and finalize this agreement."
An official from the Obama administration told the Chicago Tribune the memo was "predecisional" and it is common for documents like it to be prepared whether or not a decision has been made.
The Thursday memo directedthe secretary of defense to make the movement to Thomson from Guantanamo Bay "as expeditiously as possible."
The 1,600-cell prison, opened in 2001, has been a "leading contender" to house detainees, according to a White House spokesman.
A public hearing in Illinois is scheduled for Dec. 22.