This article presents a quantitative examination of how newspaper articles in the UK, France and Italy most commonly frame immigration and migrants. A developing literature on the securitisation of policy and discourse related to migration suggests the prominence of this narrative, but the prevalence of this particular portrayal of migration has not been placed into comparative context through cross-country analysis of the relative prominence of various immigration-related issues. To test the securitisation thesis I tabulate not only security narratives in the press, but also economic ones, comparing the relative frequency of these two broader narratives. The results indicate that it would be premature to speak of a pre-eminent securitised metanarrative within the European press. I find that overt references to physical threat or crime occur relatively infrequently, with only the mention of the border being more common. Instead, issues with economic implications, such as the labour market, asylum and fiscal costs, exhibit at least equal salience, though the degree to which the press grants attention to specific economic or security issues varies substantially between countries.