This article is a CDA investigation into the representation of refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants during two major events: the Balkan conflict in 1999 and the British general election in 2005 as reflected in British newspapers. The article is part of a larger project on the representation of these groups of people between 1996 and 2006 in British newspapers. The study shows that while there are major similarities in the micro-linguistic categories used in representations of these groups in these two periods, e.g. the metaphors, the overall communicated messages are not similar and the macro-structural contexts behind the processes of interpretation of these discourses play a determining role in transferring certain `meanings'. The research also shows that while newspapers have different strategies in their representations due to their political standpoints, in some important ways they all contribute to a similar construction of these people.