Why were immigrants discriminated against in "America" Pathways to the Present"?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As is mostly always the case, the immigrants were seen as a threat to the status quo. They often spoke different languages, had different customs and tended to stick together in their own communities. They were also seen a threats to the economic security of those who were already here. They competed for jobs and sometimes, wages went down because there simply were too many competing for too few jobs. They made easy scapegoats for economic and social problems. If the crime rate went up, it was easy to blame the new immigrants. If economic times were tough, it was thought the immigrants were to blame for driving down wages. So people discriminated against them because they were afraid. They were afraid of losing their jobs, of not understanding another language, or trying to adjust to different cultures.