The economic invasion, the burden of immigration and 'We first'

Lastly, we refer to metaphors about an invasion that also has economic effects. Though, given that many discourses are not univocal, it is common to find metaphors in direct connection with the management of public policies, social services or migration policies. Perhaps one of the clearest examples in the recent panorama of the effects of immigration at the socioeconomic level reminds us of Trump’s ‘America First’ speech from April 2016, which can be translated almost automatically into different contexts and languages, either to speak of immigration, refugees or specifically Islam (Beckwith, 2016). Some of the classic antiimmigration stereotypes portray immigrants as economic threats, competitors in the labour market, inducements to lower wages (as they work for less) or ‘burdens’ to the state. Additionally, there is the argument that immigrants’ consumption of services and public benefits will harm the natives. The demographic invasion and the overestimation of the number of immigrants transform into the argument that ‘our’ people must come first. It marks the preference for nationals on the one hand and confronts ‘us’ against ‘them’ on the other.

An economic invasion from which, again, we must defend ourselves to survive, generates factions. Hence, the speeches emphasise the need for #AmericanFirst, #BritishFirst, #primerolosnuestros, #EspanolesPrimero, #primagliitaliani, #FrenchFirst, #GermanFirst, #HungarianFirst, #Europeanfirst ... and to be great again (#MakeAmericaGreatAgain ... ), a discourse that has notably influenced far-right thinking in various countries.

On the other hand, there are also attacks on businesses belonging to the Muslim population. A particular case highlighted in the literature is that of Halal meat businesses that have been subjected to Islamophobic attacks and boycotts ( in the context of anti-halal, anti-burka and anti-sharia campaigns (Bhatt, 2012). Interestingly, the argument for boycotting these businesses alludes directly to the terrorist threat: ‘If You Buy Halal ... You ARE Supporting Islamic Jihad’. This argument is a post from the English Defence

League (in Awan, 2016: 12). As Awan points out, some of these messages on Facebook directly incite hatred, contributing to an anti-Muslim rhetoric that affects the démonisation of communities.

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