Donald Trump’s travel ban targeting citizens from Muslim countries took everyone by surprise at the weekend, even though in his election campaign Trump said he wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the US.
The newly-installed US president has angrily insisted that the ban is not against Muslims, even though all the countries on the list are Muslim-majority countries. He says the executive order is a measure taken to fight terrorism.
“This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe,” he said.
But what else will he do to “keep the country safe”?
He suggested in his election campaign that in order to keep the US “safe” he would look to tighten the rules around those travelling to the US from France.
In July last year Trump suggested the United States could suspend immigration from what he called countries “compromised by terrorism” (including France) until vetting mechanisms were in place.
“We have problems in Germany, and we have problems in France” – both countries rocked by fatal attacks claimed by the Isis group.
When asked specifically if the proposal would limit immigration from France, he said: “They have been compromised by terrorism.”
“And you know why? It's their own fault. Because they allowed people to come into their territory.”
While some of those who attacked Paris were from foreign countries, including Iraq and Belgium, several others were French nationals.
It appears many French citizens with dual-nationality for countries like Somalia, Iran and others on the list will already be impacted by the ban. Air France said it had blocked some 15 passengers from travelling to the US.
While Britain seems to have got an exemption to the travel ban for its citizens with dual citizenship for one of the country's on the list, it is not clear whether the French government has obtained the same exception.
If Trump’s measures are really to tackle the threat of terrorism, then the list of seven countries may only just be the start of a crackdown on those entering the US.
Although as many have noted, countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt where the September 9/11 attackers were from, were not included on his black list.
French terrorism expert François-Bernard Huyghe said it would really be a “shock” if Trump restricted travel from France.
“But if they really wanted to fight terrorism, they would have to ban citizens from every country,” Huyghe pointed out.