The Appeal to Emotion.
If you’re opponent isn’t calling you the next Hitler then they’re most likely asking you to think of the Syrian refugee children. As common as is the ad hominem is the appeal to emotion fallacy. They are arguments that seek validation by making us feel a certain way but just because an argument makes us feel a certain way doesn’t make it an argument because feelings aren’t arguments.
One way is to appeal to our sense of compassion. This was most evident in the case of Alan Kurdi. Photos of his lifeless body lying on a Mediterranean shore became an argument for Canada opening its borders to Syrian refugee resettlement. Dismissing the fact that little Alan’s death had more to do with paternal negligence than it had with the Syrian refugee crisis his death is not an argument to bring in 50,000 Syrian refugees. Allowing 50,000 Syrians to effectively immigrate to Canada won’t accomplish much aside from allowing Canada’s virtue signaling class to parade like moral peacocks on social media and make them feel good about themselves. Syria is still a destabilized country that, according to the UN, has produced an estimated 6.6 million internally displaced persons and has sent over 4.8 million to seek refuge abroad primarily in camps in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. Removing 50,000 of them won’t make much of a difference. The money and resources being spent to resettle a select 50,000 people would have gone further and benefited more had it been utilized in the camps. This would allow the refugees to stay in the region and hopefully return to rebuild their country and lives at a future date. Indeed, what are we really accomplishing if what we are doing is removing the very skilled people Syria is going to need to rebuild itself? It seems we’re doing more harm than good when you look at it that way but then again poaching the developing the world of its skilled talent is what Canada does best. While Canada is committed to helping the refugees of the world resettling them in Canada is not necessarily the best option since doing so introduces a new set problems such as integration challenges, job skills training, language training, stresses they place on the communities they settle in, and so on.
Another way our emotions are tickled is to flatter us by saying how a wonderful, tolerant, accepting people we are and variations on that theme. While it’s nice to be called those things they're completely irrelevant. It shouldn’t distract us from the fact that there are problems with the immigration system and that there are legitimate concerns of the host society that need addressing. Ignoring those will make us wonderful, tolerant, and accepting to a fault.
In essence arguments advanced whose only purpose is to make us feel pitiful or prideful or angry are arguments seeking to appeal to our emotional and therefore irrational self which is where they draw their strength from. They aren't arguments because, as I wrote earlier, feelings aren't arguments.