ABSTRACT

The universal aspects of the crimmigrant other can perhaps be usefully understood as a form of a metanarrative. The Bracamontes video is in many ways a paradigmatic example of populist symbolic messaging and of the political usage of the crimmigrant other. The exclusion of the crimmigrant other – embodied in criminal and fraudulent asylum seekers, evil human smugglers, and violent Muslim men from the suburbs – has the power to invoke popular mythology and the potential to create unity across the ever more divided political spectrum. The figure of the crimmigrant other may ease some of the moral discomfort produced by exclusionary border policies by turning the focus towards illegality and the combating of various evils, such as terrorism, human smuggling, and trafficking. By placing the blame for migrant mortality at the border on the unscrupulous smuggling networks, the processes of construction of the crimmigrant other are fundamentally reshaping the nature of European societies.