Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service [INS]


(Record Group 85)
1787-1993 (bulk 1882-1957)

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 85.1 Administrative History
  • 85.2 Headquarters Records of INS and its Predecessors 1882-1955
    • 85.2.1 General records
    • 85.2.2 Records of the Division of Citizenship Training
    • 85.2.3 Records of the Federal Council of Citizenship Training
    • 85.2.4 Records relating to Chinese immigration and residence
    • 85.2.5 Records relating to registration of aliens
    • 85.2.6 Records relating to the assassination of President Kennedy
  • 85.3 Passenger Arrival Records 1882-1957
    • 85.3.1 Passenger arrival lists (ship)
    • 85.3.2 Passenger arrival lists (air)
    • 85.3.3 Vessel crew lists
    • 85.3.4 Nunc pro Tunc ("Now for Then") records
  • 85.4 Records of Alien Enemy Internment Camps 1917-19, 1935-51
    • 85.4.1 Records of the World War I internment camp at Hot Springs, NC
    • 85.4.2 Records of World War II internment camps
  • 85.5 District Office Records of INS and its Predecessors 1787-1976
    • 85.5.1 Records of INS District No. 2 (Boston, MA)
    • 85.5.2 Records of INS District No. 3 (New York, NY)
    • 85.5.3 Records of INS District No. 4 (Philadelphia, PA)
    • 85.5.4 Records of INS District No. 5 (Baltimore, MD)
    • 85.5.5 Records of INS District No. 9 (Chicago, IL)
    • 85.5.6 Records of INS District No. 10 (St. Paul, MN)
    • 85.5.7 Records of INS District No. 12 (Seattle, WA)
    • 85.5.8 Records of INS District No. 13 (San Francisco, CA)
    • 85.5.9 Records of INS District No. 14 (San Antonio, TX)
    • 85.5.10 Records of INS District No. 15 (El Paso, TX)
    • 85.5.11 Records of INS District No. 16 (Los Angeles, CA)
    • 85.5.12 Records of INS District No. 17 (Honolulu, HI)
    • 85.5.13 Records of INS District No. 28 (New Orleans, LA)
    • 85.5.14 Records of INS District No. 31 (Portland, OR)
  • 85.6 Cartographic Records (General)
  • 85.7 Motion Pictures (General)
  • 85.8 Sound Recordings (General)
  • 85.9 Machine-Readable Records (General) 1971-93

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85.1 Administrative History

Established: In the Department of Labor by EO 6166, June 10, 1933.

Predecessor Agencies:

In the Department of State:

  • Secretary of State (1819-64)
  • Commissioner of Immigration (1864-68)
  • Secretary of State (1868-74)

In the Department of the Treasury:

  • Secretary of the Treasury (1869-91)
  • Office of the Superintendent of Immigration (1891-95)
  • Bureau of Immigration (1895-1903)

In the Department of Commerce and Labor:

  • Bureau of Immigration (1903-6)
  • Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (1906-13)

In the Department of Labor:

  • Bureau of Immigration (1913-33)
  • Bureau of Naturalization (1913-33)

Transfers: To the Department of Justice by President's Reorganization Plan No. V of 1940, effective June 14, 1940.

Functions: Administers laws relating to admission, exclusion, deportation, and naturalization of aliens, and investigates alleged violations of those laws. Patrols U.S. borders to prevent unlawful entry of aliens. Supervises naturalization work in designated courts. Registers and fingerprints aliens in the United States.

Finding Aids: Preliminary inventory in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and its predecessors in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

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85.2 Headquarters Records of INS and its Predecessors
1882-1957

History: Secretary of State responsible under the Passenger Act (3 Stat. 488), March 2, 1819, for submitting immigration statistics to Congress. A Commissioner of Immigration, to supervise immigration and direct the work of the U.S. Emigrant Office in New York City, was established within the Department of State by the Immigration Act (13 Stat. 385), July 4, 1864. Commissioner assumed also the responsibility for preparing annual immigration statistics. This latter responsibility was resumed by the Secretary upon abolishment of the position of Commissioner of Immigration by an act of March 30, 1868 (15 Stat. 58). Immigration statistics were also collected by the Department of the Treasury beginning in 1869, and by an act of May 7, 1874 (18 Stat. 42), they were made a responsibility solely of the Secretary of the Treasury. Beginning with the Chinese Exclusion Act (22 Stat. 58), May 6, 1882, and the Immigration Act (22 Stat. 214), August 3, 1882, Congress enacted a series of laws intending to restrict immigration into the United States of undesired alien groups, to forbid importation of contract laborers, and to provide a means for the apprehension and deportation of illegal immigrants, vesting their implementation in the Secretary of the Treasury, who carried out his responsibilities principally through state agencies. Office of the Superintendent of Immigration was established in the Department of the Treasury by an act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. 1085), to supervise the operation of immigration inspection stations, the medical inspection of immigrants, and the exclusion of undesirables. Superintendent redesignated Commissioner-General of Immigration and office renamed Bureau of Immigration, effective July 1, 1895, by the Omnibus Appropriation Act (28 Stat. 780), March 2, 1895. Transferred to the Department of Commerce and Labor by the act creating the department (32 Stat. 826), February 14, 1903. Executive branch responsibilities for naturalization assigned to redesignated Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization by the Naturalization Act (34 Stat. 596), June 29, 1906. Transferred to the Department of Labor and separated into the Bureau of Immigration and the Bureau of Naturalization by the act creating the department (37 Stat. 737), March 4, 1913. Consolidated to form INS, 1933. SEE 85.1.

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85.2.1 General records

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1882-1912. Letters received, 1882- 1906, with registers, 1882-1903, and indexes, 1893-1906. Subject correspondence, 1906-32 (224 ft.), with name and subject indexes (21 ft. and 31 rolls of microfilm). Subject and policy files, 1891-1957 (7,886 ft.). Security classified subject and policy files, 1906-32 (242 ft.). Administrative issuances, 1909-56. Deportation Division passport lists, 1927-37. Political refugee registration files, 1934-35. Appropriation ledgers, 1911-39. Immigration statistics, 1892- 1918. Administrative files relating to naturalization, 1906-40 (449 ft.). Central subject files, 1949-58 (224 ft.) Indexes to naturalizations of World War I soldiers, 1918; and to fraudulent naturalizations, 1906-15.

Microfilm Publications: T458.

Map (1 item): United States, showing number of aliens in each state and percentage of aliens included in each state's population, 1940.

Sound Recordings (78 items): INS- and Department of Justice- sponsored radio broadcasts of programs detailing problems facing aliens in the United States and documenting immigrant rights and responsibilities; and dramatic presentations on the work of the border patrol, 1940-45.

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85.2.2 Records of the Division of Citizenship Training

Textual Records: Education and Americanization files, 1914-36 (182 ft.), with index to participating cities and towns. Citizenship Education Program files, 1935-54. Citizenship training textbooks, 1918-55. Public relations files, 1940-54.

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85.2.3 Records of the Federal Council of Citizenship Training

History: Established as an interagency body by EO 3773, January 12, 1923, to make recommendations concerning improved citizenship training in the United States. Initial meeting held February 2, 1923; last meeting, June 22, 1925.

Textual Records: Minutes of meetings, 1923-25. Reports received by the council, 1922-23. Correspondence, 1923-25. Subject files, 1923-24.

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85.2.4 Records relating to Chinese immigration and residence

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1900-8. General correspondence, 1898-1908, with index. Correspondence and investigative reports concerning the smuggling of Chinese into the United States from Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, 1914-21. Chinese Division file, 1924-25. Applications for certificates of residence, 1893- 1920. Numerical and chronological files relating to certificates of residence, 1902-3. Records of Chinese deportations, 1902-3, and of a census of Chinese in MT and ID, 1894-96.

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85.2.5 Records relating to registration of aliens

Textual Records: Microfilm copies of registration forms filed by resident aliens in the United States, 1940-43 (5,071 rolls); by aliens at U.S. consular offices, 1940-44 (273 rolls); by foreign diplomats in the United States, 1940-43 (81 rolls); and by alien seamen at U.S. ports of entry, 1940-44 (440 rolls).

Specific Restrictions: As specified by Congress in section 264(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (66 Stat. 163), June 27, 1952, these records can be made available only to such persons and agencies as are designated by the Attorney General.

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85.2.6 Records relating to the assassination of President Kennedy

Textual Records: Selected case files relating to the John F. Kennedy Assassination, 1923-93.

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85.3 Passenger Arrival Records
1882-1957

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85.3.1 Passenger arrival lists (ship)

Textual Records: Microfilm copies of ship passenger arrival lists, including lists for Baltimore, MD, 1891-1948 (150 rolls) and 1954-57 (34 rolls), with card index, 1897-1952 (42 rolls); Boston, MA, 1893-1943 (454 rolls), with book index, 1899-1916 (107 rolls), and card index, 1902-20 (22 rolls); Brunswick, GA, 1904-39 (1 roll); Charleston, SC, 1906-45 (5 rolls); Detroit, MI, 1946-57 (22 rolls), with card manifests, 1906-54 (117 rolls); Galveston, TX, 1896-1951 (36 rolls), with indexes (10 rolls); Gloucester, MA, 1906-43 (1 roll); Gulfport, MS, 1904-44 (3 rolls), with card index, 1904-54 (1 roll, including index to Pascagoula, MS); Hartford, CT, 1919-43 (1 roll); Jacksonville, FL, 1904-45 (4 rolls); Key West, FL, 1898-1945 (122 rolls); Knights Key, FL, 1908-12 (4 rolls); Miami, FL, 1899-1945 (140 rolls); Mobile, AL, 1904-45 (18 rolls); New Bedford, MA, 1902-42 (8 rolls), with card index, 1902-54 (2 rolls); New Orleans, LA, 1903-45 (189 rolls), with card index, 1900-52 (22 rolls); New York, NY, 1897-1957 (8,892 rolls), with book index, 1906-42 (807 rolls), and card index, 1897-1948 (964 rolls); Panama City, FL, 1927-39 (1 roll); Pascagoula, MS, 1903-35 (1 roll), with card index, 1903-35 (on roll with Gulfport, MS); Pensacola, FL, 1900- 45 (4 rolls); Philadelphia, PA, 1883-1945 (181 rolls), with book index, 1906-26 (23 rolls), and card index, 1883-1948 (61 rolls); Port Everglades, FL, 1932-45 (3 rolls); Portland, ME, 1893-1943 (35 rolls), with book index, 1907-30 (12 rolls), and card index, 1893-1954 (1 roll); Providence, RI, 1911-43 (49 rolls), with book index, 1911-34 (15 rolls), and card index, 1911-54 (2 rolls); St. Albans, VT, 1895-1954 (665 rolls), with indexes, 1895-1952 (504 rolls); St. Petersburg, FL, 1926-41 (1 roll); San Francisco, CA, 1893-1957 (534 rolls), with indexes, 1893-1934 (30 rolls); Savannah, GA, 1906-45 (5 rolls); Seattle, WA, 1882-1957 (372 rolls); Tampa, FL, 1898-1945 (72 rolls); West Palm Beach, FL, 1920-45 (2 rolls); and miscellaneous ports in FL and SC, 1904-42 (1 roll), with card index to miscellaneous ports in AL, FL, GA, and SC, 1890-1924 (26 rolls). Microfilm copies of passenger and crew lists, 1897-1982 (44,316 rolls), with accompanying binders and index cards (880 ft).

Microfilm Publications: For passenger lists and indexes available for purchase on microfilm, please consult the latest edition of the National Archives microfilm catalog.

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85.3.2 Passenger arrival lists (air)

Textual Records: Microfilm copies of airplane passenger arrival lists, including lists for Miami, FL, 1929-45 (178 rolls), with index, 1930-42 (68 rolls); New Orleans, LA, 1943-45 (12 rolls); West Palm Beach, FL, 1931-45 (2 rolls); and miscellaneous ports in FL, 1944-45 (1 roll).

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85.3.3 Vessel crew lists

Textual Records: Microfilm copies of vessel crew lists, including lists for Baton Rouge, LA, 1919-24 (1 roll); Boston, MA, 1917-43 (269 rolls); Brunswick, GA, 1904-38 (2 rolls); Charleston, SC, 1910-45 (38 rolls); Fort Lauderdale, FL, 1939-45 (11 rolls); Gloucester, MA, 1918-43 (13 rolls); Gulfport, MS, 1904-45 (12 rolls); Hartford, CT, 1929-43 (4 rolls); Jacksonville, FL, 1906- 45 (39 rolls); Key West, FL, 1914-45 (19 rolls); Lake Charles, LA, 1940-45 (1 roll); Miami, FL, 1920-45 (123 rolls); Mobile, AL, 1903-45 (63 rolls); New Bedford, MA, 1917-43 (2 rolls); New Orleans, LA, 1910-45 (311 rolls); New York, NY, 1888-1921 (19 rolls); Pascagoula, MS, 1907-28 (3 rolls); Pensacola, FL, 1905-45 (18 rolls); Philadelphia, PA, 1917-45 (221 rolls); Portland, ME, 1917-44 (37 rolls); Providence, RI, 1918-43 (22 rolls); San Francisco, CA, 1905-54 (182 rolls); Savannah, GA, 1910-45 (32 rolls); Seattle, WA, 1903-17 (15 rolls); Tampa, FL, 1904-45 (72 rolls); and West Palm Beach, FL, 1925-45 (13 rolls).

Microfilm Publications: For crew lists available for purchase on microfilm, please consult the latest edition of the National Archives microfilm catalog.

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85.3.4 Nunc pro Tunc ("Now for Then") records

Textual Records: Microfilm copy of affidavits and testimony given by illegal aliens at Ellis Island, NY, for the purpose of securing certificates of arrival for naturalization purposes, 1911-21 (12 rolls).

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85.4 Records of Alien Enemy Internment Camps
1917-19, 1935-51

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85.4.1 Records of the World War I internment camp at Hot Springs,
NC

Textual Records: General subject file, 1917-18. Accounting records, 1917-19.

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85.4.2 Records of World War II internment camps

Textual Records: General records, 1941-45. Field reports, 1941- 45. Miscellaneous records, 1942-45. General files and other records of internment camps at Bedford, PA, 1945; Camp Upton, NY, 1942-45; Crystal City, TX, 1942-48; Fort Lincoln, ND, 1941-46; Fort Missoula, MT, 1935-45; Fort Stanton, NM, 1942-45; Greenbrier Hotel, White Sulphur Springs, WV, 1941-45; Kenedy, TX, 1942-45; Old Raton Ranch Camp, Santa Fe, NM, 1942-46; Seagaville, TX, 1942-45; Staunton, VA, 1942-45; and Tule Lake, CA, 1945-48. Records relating to the operation of more than one facility, 1941-51.

Motion Pictures (2 reels): Activities at the Crystal City, TX, internment camp, 1942-43.

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85.5 District Office Records of INS and its Predecessors
1787-1976

History: INS operated through field and branch offices until 1942, when existing field offices were designated as headquarters for numbered districts 1-22, and branch offices were redesignated as stations:

Dist. Headquarters Stations
1 St. Albans, VT  
2 East Boston, MA Portland, ME
3 Ellis Island, NY Brooklyn, NY; Newark, NJ; New York, NY
4 Gloucester City, NJ Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA
5 Baltimore, MD  
6 Miami, FL Jacksonville, FL
7 Buffalo, NY Cleveland, OH; Niagara Falls, NY; Syracuse, NY
8 Detroit, MI Toledo, OH
9 Cincinnati, OH  
10 Chicago, IL Milwaukee, WI
11 Kansas City, MO Omaha, NE; St. Louis, MO
12 New Orleans, LA  
13 St. Paul, MN  
14 San Antonio, TX  
15 Spokane, WA  
16 Salt Lake City, UT Denver, CO
17 El Paso, TX  
18 Seattle, WA Ketchikan, AK; Portland, OR
19 San Francisco, CA Reno, NV; Sacramento, CA
20 Los Angeles, CA Bakersfield, CA; Calexico, CA; San Diego, CA; San Pedro, CA; Nogales, AZ
21 San Juan, PR  
22 Honolulu, HI  

Reduced by consolidation to 16 districts in 1943:

Dist. Headquarters Stations
1 St. Albans, VT  
2 Boston, MA Portland, ME
3 New York, NY Brooklyn, NY; Newark, NJ
4 Philadelphia, PA Pittsburgh, PA
5 Baltimore, MD  
6 Atlanta, GA Jacksonville, FL; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA
7 Buffalo, NY Cleveland, OH; Niagara Falls, NY; Syracuse, NY
8 Detroit, MI Cincinnati, OH; Toledo, OH
9 Chicago, IL Milwaukee, WI; St. Paul, MN
10 Spokane, WA  
11 Kansas City, MO Denver, CO; Omaha, NE; St. Louis, MO
12 Seattle, WA Ketchikan, AK; Portland, OR
13 San Francisco, CA Honolulu, HI; Reno, NV; Sacramento, CA; Salt Lake City, UT
14 San Antonio, TX  
15 El Paso, TX  
16 Los Angeles, CA Bakersfield, CA; Calexico, CA; San Diego, CA; San Pedro, CA; Nogales, AZ

A large number of additional immigration and border inspection stations were opened beginning in 1946, including some in foreign countries. In 1948, the headquarters for District 6 moved from Atlanta to Miami. In 1949, Honolulu was made headquarters for a new District 17, and District 10 was discontinued, with Spokane made a part of District 12. In 1954, District 11 was discontinued, with Kansas City, Omaha, and St. Louis assigned to District 9, and Denver to District 15. In 1955, Districts 1, 5, 16, and 17 were discontinued. St. Albans was assigned to District 7, Baltimore to District 4, and Los Angeles and Honolulu to District 13. The remaining districts were distributed among new geographical regions:

Northeast Region (Burlington, VT)

Jurisdiction: CT, ME, MA, NH, NY, RI, VT

Dist. Headquarters Suboffices
2 Boston, MA Hartford, CT; Portland, ME; Manchester, NH; Providence, RI
3 New York, NY  
7 Buffalo, NY Albany, NY; St. Albans, VT

Southeast Region (Richmond, VA)

Jurisdiction: AL, AR, DC, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NJ, NC, PA, PR, SC, TN, VA, WV

Dist. Headquarters Suboffices
4 Philadelphia, PA Newark, NJ; Baltimore, MD; Pittsburgh, PA; Washington, DC
6 Miami, FL Atlanta, GA; New Orleans, LA; Memphis, TN; San Juan, PR

Northwest Region (St. Paul, MN)

Jurisdiction: AK, ID, IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, ND, OH, OR, SD, WA, WI

Dist. Headquarters Suboffices
8 Detroit, MI Cincinnati, OH; Cleveland, OH; Hammond, IN
9 Chicago, IL Omaha, NE; Kansas City, MO; Minot, ND; Milwaukee, WI; St. Paul, MN
12 Seattle, WA Anchorage, AK; Boise, ID; Great Falls, MT; Portland, OR; Spokane, WA

Southwest Region (San Pedro, CA)

Jurisdiction: AZ, CA, CO, HI, NV, NM, OK, TX, UT, WY

Dist. Headquarters Suboffices
13 San Francisco, CA Los Angeles, CA; San Diego, CA; Reno, NV; Honolulu, HI; Salt Lake City, UT
14 San Antonio, TX Dallas, TX; Houston, TX
15 El Paso, TX Tucson, AZ; Denver, CO; Albuquerque, NM

In 1956, St. Louis, MO, replaced Minot as a suboffice of District 9, and Helena, MT, replaced Boise in Region 12. In 1957, the districts were increased to 32 by upgrading certain suboffices and reopening closed district offices. Jurisdiction over NJ transferred from Southeast to Northeast Region, and jurisdiction over OH transferred from Northwest to Southeast Region:

Northeast Region (Burlington, VT)

Dist. Headquarters
1 St. Albans, VT
2 Boston, MA
3 New York, NY
7 Buffalo, NY
21 Newark, NJ
22 Portland, ME
23 Hartford, CT

Southeast Region (Richmond, VA)

Dist. Headquarters
4 Philadelphia, PA
5 Baltimore, MD
6 Miami, FL
24 Cleveland, OH
25 Washington, DC
26 Atlanta, GA
27 San Juan, PR
28 New Orleans, LA

Northwest Region (St. Paul, MN)

Dist. Headquarters
8 Detroit, MI
9 Chicago, IL
10 St. Paul, MN
11 Kansas City, MO
12 Seattle, WA
29 Omaha, NE
30 Helena, MT
31 Portland, OR
32 Anchorage, AK

Southwest Region (San Pedro, CA)

Dist. Headquarters
13 San Francisco, CA
14 San Antonio, TX
15 El Paso, TX
16 Los Angeles, CA
17 Honolulu, HI
18 Tucson, AZ
19 Denver, CO
20 Dallas, TX

In 1958, headquarters of District 18 moved from Tucson to Phoenix, AZ. Three additional districts were opened in 1960: District 35, Mexico City, Mexico, under the Southwest Region; District 33, Manila, Philippine Islands; and District 34, Frankfurt, Germany. In 1962, District 36, Port Isabel, TX, was opened under the Southwest Region. In 1963, District 35 was removed from the Southwest Region, and District 37, Rome, Italy, was opened. In 1964, the district numbers were dropped and the districts were renamed after the city in which the headquarters was located:

Northeast Region (Burlington,VT)

District Offices: Boston, MA; Buffalo, NY; Hartford, CT; Newark, NJ; New York, NY; Portland, ME; St. Albans, VT.

Southeast Region (Richmond, VA)

District Offices: Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Cleveland, OH; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; Philadelphia, PA; San Juan, PR; Washington, DC.

Northwest Region (St. Paul, MN)

District Offices: Anchorage, AK; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Helena, MT; Kansas City, MO; Omaha, NE; Portland, OR; St. Paul, MN; Seattle, WA.

Southwest Region (San Pedro, CA)

District Offices: Denver, CO; El Paso, TX; Honolulu, HI; Los Angeles, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Port Isabel, TX; San Antonio, TX; San Francisco, CA.

Foreign Districts

District Offices: Frankfurt, Germany; Manila, PI; Mexico City, Mexico; Rome, Italy.

Headquarters for the Northwest Region redesignated Twin Cities, MN, office, 1969. District office in Manila closed and district office opened in Hong Kong, 1970. Port Isabel District Office closed and Houston District Office opened, 1973. District office in Frankfurt, Germany, closed and regional offices redesignated and jurisdictionally realigned, 1975:

Eastern Region (Burlington, VT)

Jurisdiction: CT, DE, DC, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, PR, RI, VT, VA, WV

District Offices: Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Buffalo, NY; Hartford, CT; Newark, NJ; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, ME; St. Albans, VT; San Juan, PR; Washington, DC.

Northern Region (Twin Cities, MN)

Jurisdiction: AK, CO, ID, IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, ND, OH, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI, WY

District Offices: Anchorage, AK; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Helena, MT; Kansas City, MO; Omaha, NE; Portland, OR; St. Paul, MN; Seattle, WA.

Southern Region (Dallas, TX)

Jurisdiction: AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NM, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX

District Offices: Atlanta, GA; El Paso, TX; Houston, TX; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; San Antonio, TX.

Western Region (San Pedro, CA)

Jurisdiction: AZ, CA, HI, NV

District Offices: Honolulu, HI; Los Angeles, CA; Phoenix, AZ; San Francisco, CA.

Foreign Districts

District Offices: Hong Kong; Mexico City, Mexico; Rome, Italy.

District offices opened in San Diego, CA, and Harlingen, TX, 1976. Hong Kong office closed and Bangkok, Thailand, office opened, 1984. St. Albans District Office closed, 1983. Western Region headquarters moved from San Pedro to Laguna Niguel, CA, 1989.

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85.5.1 Records of INS District No. 2 (Boston, MA)

Textual Records (in Boston, except as noted): Naturalization records, 1787-1906, with index. Copies of naturalization petitions and certificates, 1791-1906 (in Washington Area). Chinese Exclusion Act immigration case files, 1900-55, including case files from sub-offices in Gloucher and Springfield, MA; Providence, RI; and Hartford, CT, 1947-55; and the district office in Montreal, 1900-52.

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85.5.2 Records of INS District No. 3 (New York, NY)

Textual Records (in New York, except as noted): Letters sent, 1903-12 (in Washington Area). Citizenship education files, 1906- 44 (in Washington Area). Negative photostatic copies of naturalization records, 1792-1906 (1,712 ft.), with indexes. Chinese Exclusion Act immigration case files, 1921-44.

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85.5.3 Records of INS District No. 4 (Philadelphia, PA)

Textual Records (in Philadelphia): Office diaries, 1882-1902. Letters sent, 1884-1912. Letters received, 1882-1903. Contract labor violations case files, 1893-1903. Daily activity reports of immigrant inspectors, 1888-93. Registers of immigrant arrivals, 1892; detainment, 1901-12; and debarment and deportation, 1891- 1917. Alien departure applications, 1918-19. Departure reports of aliens, 1942-51. Lists of immigrants deported from the ports of Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and Baltimore, 1896-1902. Records of the Special Board of Inquiry, 1893-1909. Chinese Exclusion Act immigration case files, 1895-1952 (bulk 1895-1920), with register, 1897-1903, and indexes, 1904-20. Records relating to investigations of Chinese cases, 1900-19. Records of the Pennsylvania Board of Public Charities, including minutes of meetings, 1882-84; letters received, 1872-73; reports of the executive committee, 1882-90; annual reports from hospitals and charitable institutions, 1875-85; and reports of immigration at the Port of Philadelphia, 1888-89.

Microfilm Publications: M1144, M1500.

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85.5.4 Records of INS District No. 5 (Baltimore, MD)

Textual Records (in Philadelphia): Chinese Exclusion Act immigration case files, 1904-40.

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85.5.5 Records of INS District No. 9 (Chicago, IL)

Textual Records (in Chicago): Soundex naturalization index, covering naturalizations in federal and county courts in parts of IL, IN, IA, and WI, 1840-1950 (1,114 ft.). INS copies of naturalization petitions, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1871-1906, with index; naturalization petitions and orders, County Court of Cook County, IL, 1876-1906, with index; naturalization petitions and orders, Circuit Court of Cook County, IL, 1871-1906, with indexes; naturalization petitions and orders, Criminal Court of Cook County, IL, 1871-1906, with indexes; and naturalization orders, 1871-1906, and naturalization petitions, 1893-1906, Superior Court of Cook County, IL. Chinese Division correspondence, 1893-1924. Chinese Exclusion Act immigration case files, 1899-1939.

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85.5.6 Records of INS District No. 10 (St. Paul, MN)

Textual Records (in Chicago): Chinese Exclusion Act immigration case files, 1906-42.

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85.5.7 Records of INS District No. 12 (Seattle, WA)

Textual Records (in Seattle): Chinese Exclusion Act immigration case files, 1882-61.

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85.5.8 Records of INS District No. 13 (San Francisco, CA)

Textual Records (in San Francisco): General correspondence, 1914- 41. Angel Island historical file, 1894-1941. Alien enemy files, 1911-29. Passport and travel control file, 1918-24. Correspondence, testimony, photographs, coaching material, and other records relating to fraudulent Chinese applications for admission, including records relating to the Densmore investigation that uncovered fraud at the Angel Island Immigration Station, 1906-40. Angel Island construction files, 1912-13; telephone cable files, 1910-40; and boat files, 1910-41. Chinese Exclusion Act immigration case files, 1882-1957. Deportation and criminal naturalization case files of labor leader Harry R. Bridges, 1930's-1950's.

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85.5.9 Records of INS District No. 14 (San Antonio, TX)

Textual Records (in Fort Worth): Index to naturalization records in federal, state, and county courts in Texas (1853-1939), prepared by the Works Progress Administration, ca. 1939.

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85.5.10 Records of INS District No. 15 (El Paso, TX)

Textual Records (in Fort Worth): Letters sent, 1894-1912. Letters received, 1896-1911. Letters received from the inspector in charge, Tucson, AZ, and letters sent by the Chinese inspector, Benson, AZ ("Correspondence"), 1907-9. Correspondence files, consisting primarily of letters received by the supervising inspector, El Paso, TX, from field offices, 1911-19. Issuances, 1907-11. Immigration investigation case files, 1915-43.

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85.5.11 Records of INS District No. 16 (Los Angeles, CA)

Textual Records (in Los Angeles): Chinese Exclusion Act immigration case files, 1893-1976, including case files from suboffices or stations in Bakersfield, CA, 1911-65; Calexico, CA, 1912-68; Los Angeles, CA, 1893-1950; San Diego, CA, 1894-1976; San Pedro, CA, 1894-1965; and Nogales, AZ, 1922-44. Descriptions of Chinese deportees of the Los Angeles District Office, 1911-15. Alien enemy case files, 1931-48.

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85.5.12 Records of INS District No. 17 (Honolulu, HI)

Textual Records (in San Francisco): Chinese Exclusion Act immigration case files, 1900-1950's. Certifications of citizenship, 1920-1940's.

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85.5.13 Records of INS District No. 28 (New Orleans, LA)

Textual Records (in Fort Worth): Index to certificates of naturalization (1831-1906), prepared by the Work Projects Administration, ca. 1939.

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85.5.14 Records of INS District No. 31 (Portland, OR)

Textual Records (in Seattle): Testimony of witnesses of Chinese applicants for admission, 1893-1904. Registers and lists of Chinese applicants for admission, Port Townsend and Tacoma, WA, 1896-1903; and Astoria and Portland, OR, 1893-1903. Registers of Chinese landed or refused permission to land at Portland, 1893- 1902. Ships' manifests for vessels sailing from China to Portland, 1889-1904. Registers of Chinese businesses, 1896-1900. Registers of Chinese partnerships and their employees, 1895-1926. Records relating to Chinese contract laborers, 1882-99. Registers of Japanese landing at Portland, OR, 1893-99. Lists of registered German, Italian, and Japanese aliens in Oregon, 1942. Chinese Exclusion Act immigration case files, 1891-1943.

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85.6 Cartographic Records (General)

SEE Map UNDER 85.2.1.

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85.7 Motion Pictures (General)

SEE UNDER 85.4.2.

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85.8 Sound Recordings (General)

SEE UNDER 85.2.1.

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85.9 Machine-Readable Records (General)
1971-93
86 data sets

Data on deportations, 1974-91; lawful immigrations, 1971-1982, 1993; derivative citizenship, 1974-83; required departures, 1973-91; and naturalizations, 1971-91, all with supporting documentation.


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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