September 4, 1998
National Archives and Records Administration and Immigration and Naturalization Service Sign Agreement
College Park, MD. . . On Friday, September 4, 1998, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) signed an agreement with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to transfer temporary non-security classified Alien Case Files from all NARA facilities, except the San Bruno, California regional records facility, to NARA’s Lee’s Summit facility in Missouri. These are records still under the legal control of the INS. This agreement does not affect INS records that are permanently accessioned at any of NARA’s regional archival facilities or at the National Archives at College Park. Those records will remain at their current locations.
The agreement will centralize approximately 350,000 cubic feet of temporary records currently stored in 12 regional facilities and two national centers into the new records center facility in Lee’s Summit. This streamlined approach was initiated by INS and will improve records management and customer service on these records. Such improvements include an automated tracking system and a 24-hour internal turn-around time for reference requests, which will result in better customer service and savings to the Government and the taxpayer. The decision to relocate the Alien Case File records is consistent with NARA’s space planning decision to implement changes in records center facilities separate from archival record relocations.
The Alien Case Files in the San Bruno regional records facility are currently interfiled with permanent Chinese Exclusion Act records. A careful review of these records is required to separate the permanent documents from temporary files, and Alien Case Files will not be moved from San Bruno until the review is completed. While this situation has occurred with Alien Case Files at other locations, the volume of Chinese Exclusion Act files in San Bruno is greater than in all other regions combined. Alien Case Files from these other locations will be screened in Lee’s Summit and any Chinese Exclusion Act documents found will be returned to the appropriate regional archives.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.