A new wave of immigrants, from eastern and southern Europe, frightened Americans because of the emigrant's customs, different faiths, illiteracy, and poverty.They were a new group of immigrants coming into the United States that consisted of Italians, Slavs, Greeks, Jews, and Armenians. They came from both Southern and Eastern Europe, and also from the Middle East. In the 1890s, their numbers first began to increase, and the numbers continued to increase for the next three decades. Most of the immigrants came from peasant and poor backgrounds and boosted America's foreign-born population by 18 million. They were often discriminated against.