'They’ve stepped up and met those base line requirements that the United States has laid out,' White House says.
Saudi Arabia was excluded from the Donald Trump administration's most recent effort to curb international immigration over security concerns because Riyadh met U.S.-mandated criteria, the White House said Monday.
"They’ve stepped up and met those base line requirements that the United States has laid out," spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.
Saudi Arabia was home to 15 of the 19 Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers, and after the U.S. unveiled Trump's third attempt to curtail international immigration many questioned why the Mideast country was omitted.
It was also not part of Trump's previous orders seeking to restrict immigration from Muslim-majority countries.
The U.S. laid out Sunday new restrictions to replace Trump's travel ban, which was set to expire, adding three non-Muslim-majority countries to the list of designated nations while dropping Sudan.
The countries that now face travel restrictions are Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Venezuela and Yemen.
They were designated because they have either not met higher screening and information sharing requirements "or present sufficient risk factors", according to the White House.
"These visa restrictions will also put pressure on foreign governments to live up to their obligations by enhancing security and sharing essential information with the United States," the White House said in announcing the new security measures.
Unlike previous efforts, the new restrictions are indefinite and conditional based on foreign government action, including cooperation with U.S. authorities.
Each country faces specific restrictions that will go into effect Oct. 18. They had a 50-day window in which they were able to increase standards to meet U.S. requirements, but failed to do so, the White House said.
Trump's executive order, a revision of a first attempt, on six Muslim-majority countries had faced several legal setbacks, including criticism it amounted to an unconstitutional Muslim ban, which Trump had promised during his 2016 presidential campaign.
The Supreme Court had been scheduled to hear oral arguments on the cause Oct. 10, but following the administration's new effort, the top court pulled the hearings and ordered parties to submit new briefs by Oct. 5.