During WWII, the federal government and U. S. military leaders told the public that the uprooting of Japanese Americans was a “military necessity” to safeguard the United States against espionage and sabotage. The real reason for this unconstitutional act, however, was paranoia created from animosity toward Asians dating back to the mid-1800s during the California Gold Rush. When Chinese immigrants had arrived on the West Coast, white miners felt they threatened the gold they deserved. Political leaders and other groups saw these immigrants as a threat to America, pressuring President Chester Arthur into signing the Exclusion Act in 1882. This act banned Chinese laborers from immigrating to the United States and becoming citizens. It also led to a decline in the Chinese population on the West Coast. This then resulted in a sudden need for laborers, driving the Japanese to move to the West Coast, leading to a short-lived welcome. They were soon also seen as a threat because they wanted to own businesses. This resulted in the Anti-Japanese movement from the early to mid-1900s.