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Brexit voters react to Trump's travel ban
02:49 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Trump's executive order has been greeted with support by some in Europe

Ban appeals to those divided in EU by rapid social change, influx of refugees and economic stagnation

CNN  — 

President Donald Trump’s bid to keep the “bad dudes” out of America may have provoked global demonstrations, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of support for the travel ban among some Europeans.

If Europe’s elected leaders have been almost universal in their condemnation of the ban, anti-establishment figures and citizens alike are hailing it as a tough but necessary decision in the fight against terror.

Support for populist parties in Europe is rising, with many blaming the political elite for maintaining the status quo rather than tackling the problems they face – including the perceived threat of unfettered immigration.

And with a series of key elections in the coming months – the Netherlands, France and Germany all vote this year – anti-establishment politicians vying for power are applauding Trump’s ban and trading on this anti-immigrant sentiment to boost their chances of victory.


Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far right National Front party, has defended the travel ban and said a backlash to the measure was in “bad faith.”

Once an outlier in France’s political landscape, she is now a front-runner in the upcoming elections. Her anti-globalist rhetoric, vow to uphold French values, and stance on limiting immigration seem to come straight out of the Trump playbook.

And it’s a strategy that’s played well with some in France, which has been rocked by a constant stream of terror attacks in recent years.

Damien Obrador, a 24-year-old parliamentary attaché in Bordeaux, told CNN that he backed a similar ban in France because of the current terrorism threat.

“If Marine Le Pen, who has great ratings in the polls, becomes president, I think she would put in place the ban, and I think it would be great as we have never had such a high terrorist threat before,” Obrador said.

“France and Europe should put in place the immigration ban, take care of the migration crisis, and go back to the roots of the problem: eradicating ISIS.

“Europe needs to modernize itself and look towards Donald Trump.”

Le Pen refused to tell CNN whether she would impose a similar ban, but said “France no longer has any borders because of the EU” – a reference to the Schengen agreement, which removed Europe’s internal borders and allows residents to travel through 26 countries without a passport.

Alexandre Laustriat, a 25-year-old student in Toulouse, agrees. “I am in favor of the anti-immigration law,” he told CNN. “We have no borders, and we noticed during the latest terror attacks that the suspects either had a dual nationality, or had passed through immigration channels.

“I think that if France had the power to control its own borders – and with the actual high-level threat our country is in – a travel ban would have to be put in place immediately.”