A big theme of the UK May 2014 MEP elections is immigration - there is a great deal of political rhetoric about it that I would describe as racist or xenophobic, but I don't think either term is entirely suitable given how they are used now in UK media.
In addition these terms (racist especially) are generally considered to be pejorative, so as soon as you use them people get defensive and miss the point. The debate becomes about the ethnic mix of their social circle or supporters, both of which are irrelevant.
This rhetoric is characterised by the location of people's country of origin rather than their race.
An example statement would be:
"I'm not racist, but only British people should be able to apply for British jobs."
"26 million people in Europe are looking for work. And whose jobs are they after?"
I don't think these statements are racist exactly, as a person could be any race and be British, or not be British and still be of an Anglo-Saxon white origin.
However they do represent a kind of discrimination: they state that if the most skilled person for a job is not from the UK they should be rejected in favour of a less skilled local. They state that someone who isn't British should not get the same rights and privileges as someone who is.
The rhetoric that goes with these statements tends to also make value statements about the immigrants in question, often describing their intentions as parasitic or that these immigrants would be seeking to change British culture or legislation.
Is there a term for that kind of discrimination or prejudice?
Please note that I'm not trying to encourage any kind of political debate on here - I'm just looking for a way to describe this kind of political argument as discriminatory without referring to race.
This question has been flagged incorrectly as a duplicate. I know that the legal definition of racism includes discrimination based on nationality. However, in the UK political sphere at least, the common interpretation of of racism is limited to racial groups. The political parties that use this rhetoric do not consider it to be racist, and the pejorative nature of the term means that using it just ends any chance of building an argument that they might actually listen to.
I understand that racist is technically correct, I'm asking for constructive alternatives.
The answers to that question do not help with this issue.
Xenophobic is a good answer, but not really what I'm looking for as it implies the motivation for the behaviour, rather than describing the behaviour itself.
For instance a typical response might be:
"I've got nothing against foreigners, I just think Britain is full - there's no more room."
This moves the argument to a different point (whether they hate or fear foreigners) and I don't want to do that. I want to describe the discrimination against foreigners without making my own judgements about their motivation for doing so.
This question has been flagged as a duplicate of another question, but these are different questions with different answers. The supposed duplicate asks: If a person holds prejudice against people because of their nationality, would that be considered racist? - I'm specifically not asking about prejudice; I'm asking about discrimination.
I can state that a political party's policies or proposals are inherently discriminatory if the action treats one group differently from another. I'm not making a judgement about them if I do so, I'm just stating a deduction.
I can't state for certain that this discrimination is due to their prejudice - they may or may not have prejudiced opinions, but accusing them of prejudice causes offence and any constructive discussion ends there.
So, is there a way to describe behaviour that discriminates without making guesses as to the motivation or any prejudice behind it?