LITTLE ROCK — President Barack Obama on Tuesday presented to Congress a plan to carry to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a goal that many Republican lawmakers, including members of the Arkansas delegation, say is misguided and dangerous.

LITTLE ROCK — President Barack Obama on Tuesday presented to Congress a plan to carry to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a goal that many Republican lawmakers, including members of the Arkansas delegation, say is misguided and dangerous.


Under the plan, between 30 and 60 detainees would be transferred to American soil while the rest of the 91 detainees would be placed in other countries.


"For many years, it’s been clear that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay does not advance our national security — it undermines it," Obama said in remarks at the White House. "This is not just my opinion. This is the opinion of experts, this is the opinion of many in our military. It’s counterproductive to our fight against terrorists, because they use it as propaganda in their efforts to recruit."


The president also said Guantanamo harms the United States’ partnerships with allies and other counties whose cooperation is needed in the fight against terrorism.


"When I talk to other world leaders, they bring up the fact that Guantanamo is not resolved," said Obama, who made closing Guantanamo one of the promises of his 2008 campaign. "Moreover, keeping this facility open is contrary to our values. It undermines our standing in the world. It is viewed as a stain on our broader record of upholding the highest standards of rule of law."


U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., said closing the facility would create needless national security risks and endanger American citizens.


"This is not what the American people want," Boozman said in a statement. "That’s why Congress has rejected the president’s proposal time and time again. At a time when we are fighting global terrorism, holding these dangerous terrorists domestically is not the message our citizens want to hear. I believe that we must keep Gitmo open and I will continue to fight the president’s efforts to close this facility and transfer terrorists to U.S. soil."


U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., called the president’s plan "nothing short of a national security disaster."


"He’s using his last 11 months in office to carry out an ill-advised, ideological campaign promise. Worse, he will just wash his hands of the disastrous implications next January, but America will suffer the consequences long after he leaves office," Cotton said.


U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, said Obama "has put the interests of extremists ahead of Americans."


"His announced plan to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay is an olive branch to terrorists, explicitly inviting terrorists to our shores who would like nothing more than to inflict harm on Americans. Congress will fight the president’s efforts to appease ISIS and others bent on killing Americans and destroying our way of life," he said.


U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, said Obama is risking national security to fulfill "a tired, eight-year-old campaign promise."


"Last year, I had the opportunity to visit the state-of-the-art facilities at GTMO, and I saw first-hand a safe and secure facility for housing and adjudicating dangerous agents of terror," he said. "GTMO is an essential part of our global war on terror, and through the annual National Defense Authorization Act — which the president signed into law — Congress has already made it illegal to close GTMO, and we will not tolerate the president’s plan to move these dangerous individuals to U.S. soil."


Also issuing a statement on the president’s plan Tuesday was Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman, who is challenging Boozman’s re-election bid in the Republican primary. Coleman said Obama’s plan "is not only a clear and present danger to our national security, it is inherently illegal and a violation of the very legislation he signed into law, the National Defense Authorization Act."


"I urge all members of Arkansas’ congressional delegation to firmly oppose this ill-conceived plan," he said.