GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba. (WJHG/WECP) - President Obama pledged to shut down Guantanamo Bay Prison during his time in office, a promise he never made good on.
His successor, wants to put more prisoners in the facility.
The Guantanamo Bay Prison that's served as a symbol of American resolve seems to be slowly shutting down.
Four of the original seven camps closed. Of its original nearly 800 prisoners, only 41 remain.
The Obama administration pledged to shut the facility down, but the prison outlived his administration, and his successor has different plans for it.
"We're gonna load it up with some bad dudes, believe me. Load it up," said President Trump.
"These are enemy combatants and we need a place like that," said Congressman Neal Dunn.
Congressman Dunn is on board with keeping Gitmo open.
"Guantanamo Bay serves a unique purpose: it's a place we can hold military commissions and try and imprison prisoners of war. So, I think clearly it's a good idea to have it," he said.
Lee Wolosky was the Obama administration's special envoy for closing Guantanamo. In a 2016 interview, he cited the exorbitant cost - soon to be $10 million per year per detainee - and the security risk of keeping it open.
"We've all seen how ISIL is inspired by Guantanamo by putting its prisoners on their march to execution in Guantanamo-type orange uniforms," Wolosky said.
Panama City resident Don Arias, whose brother was last seen helping people on the ground when the south tower fell on 9/11, says the facility needs to stay open.
"It needs to stand as a symbol of American resolve against unlawful enemy combatants wanting to kill Americans overseas," said Arias.
The two previous administrations released hundreds of prisoners: 532 under President Bush, and 198 under President Obama.
But there are still several detainees deemed too dangerous to release, like the alleged 9/11 co-conspirators.
Most recently, President Trump said he would consider sending Sayfullo Saipov to Guantanamo Bay. He's the terror suspect in a car attack that killed eight people in New York last month.