Using Social Media to Motivate Anti-migration Sentiments. Political Implications in the United States and Beyond


  • Blanca Nicasio Varea Universidad Cardenal Herrera-CEU, CEU Universities
  • Marta Pérez Gabaldón Universidad Cardenal Herrera-CEU, CEU Universities
  • Manuel Chavez Michigan State University



Trump, immigration, twitter, populism, social media, social networks


The proliferation of nationalist and nativist movements all over the world has capitalized on the broad impact of social media, especially on Twitter. In the case of the United States, as candidate and then as President, Donald Trump initiated an active use of Twitter to disseminate his views on migration and migrants. This paper analyzes the themes and the political implications of his tweets from Trump’s electoral win to the end of the first year of his presidency. The authors’ assumptions are that Trump’s rhetoric untapped a collective sentiment against migration as well as one which supported views to protect migrant communities. The findings show that some topics were retweeted massively fueling the perceptions that most Americans were against migrant communities and their protectors. We conducted content analysis of the tweets sent by President Trump during his first year in the White House. We used the personal account of Trump in Twitter @realDonaldTrump. Trump has used his personal account as a policy and political media instrument to convey his messages rather than to use the official account that all Presidents have traditionally used @POTUS. Since Trump ran on a nativist platform with strong negative sentiments against migrants and immigration in general, we examined the tweets that relate to these topics.


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