The United States has become known as a melting pot of many different cultures through immigration, but immigration has not always been looked upon in a lighthearted manner. In fact, during the years between 1880 and 1925, immigration created tensions and was frowned upon for multiple reasons. These included large influxes of immigrants getting opportunities before native born people could, the possibility of the government being spied on by people from axis powers.
However, to every negative impact there is a positive, and although many people were opposed to massive immigration, others supported temporary immigration for several reasons. The people who supported immigration were usually business owners who used the large amounts of immigrants as a tool. They used the numbers as a tool because they could hire large amounts of labourers for a small amount of money instead of having to pay an American a higher amount (Doc B). Another group that enjoyed the high number of immigrants were the government officials who dealt with the unemployment rate.
The idea was that when jobs began to need less people at certain points in the year, immigrants would be the first to be laid off, so therefore more Americans would remain in their jobs, with the American unemployment level staying low. The people who were most commonly opposed to the immigration were those who were at direct risk of having job opportunities taken from them by immigrants trying to start working in the same business. African Americans were also highly opposed to slavery for this reason (Doc D).
They said that instead of bringing in immigrants, they could bring African Americans from the South to work the jobs instead of keeping them oppressed. The government took control of these worries by allowing only a small percentage of immigrants from each country into the US to relieve the anxiety over having to fight immigrants for jobs (Doc H). Another tension created by immigration was people who were emigrating from axis countries to the US that were considered potential threats to the US government.
Examples of these tensions and responses by the US government include the passing of acts such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which caused tension because it was the first time that the US prohibited chinese immigrants solely because of their race. This was an attempt to decrease the amount of Chinese workers that were taking the jobs away from Americans. Another set of acts that caused tension in society were the Acts of August 3, 1882, and March 3, 1891. This was the first time the US prohibited immigrants based on their mental or physical condition.