Thompson Correctional Center in Northwestern Illinois Chosen to House Guantanamo Detainees

Obama ordered the shutdown of the detention center as one of his first acts after taking office in January.

But actually closing it has proven a cumbersome matter, largely because of the difficulty of finding other places to put the suspected terrorists.

Illinois and local officials suggested the near-vacant Thomson prison, which was started in the 1990s and completed in 2001.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate's second-highest-ranking Democrat, said in a statement Saturday he would support the plan. He said the prison would house fewer than 100 Guantanamo detainees and would have a "significant positive impact on the local economy" by generating more than 3,000 jobs.