White House Says It Hasn’t Ruled Out Putting Uzbekistan on Travel Ban List

By Melanie Arter | November 1, 2017 | 6:24pm EDT
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Screenshot of White House video)

(CNSNews.com) - The man who plowed into bicyclists and pedestrians in lower Manhattan, killing eight people, immigrated to the U.S. legally from Uzbekistan, a country that has increasingly become a source of terrorist recruits for ISIS.

As CNSNews.com reported, former Soviet republics now account for the largest number of foreign fighters who have flowed into Syria and Iraq to fight for ISIS and other violent groups in recent years, according to a report last week by the Washington-based security consultancy Soufan Group.

Despite this, the country is not listed on the administration’s travel ban list.

When asked Wednesday why, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “As we've outlined multiple times before, those were determinations made by several factors. In large part, Congress helped play a role in determining a lot of those factors, in placing specific priorities on different countries, and that would be the reason that they weren't a part of that.”

Sanders indicated Wednesday that adding the country to the travel ban list “may be something that’s looked at, but that isn’t something that we have called for at this time, but certainly haven’t ruled it out.”

“Again, there are a lot of different criteria that we use to determine which country should be on there, and they haven't been determined as one of the countries yet, but I'm saying that hasn't been ruled out either,” Sanders added.

The president amended the initial travel ban in September to include the following countries: Venezuela, Chad, Libya, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, and North Korea. North Korea and Venezuela were not included in the original travel ban.

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