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This article (1) gives background information about the records; (2) describes the government forms used to record information about persons crossing the U. Early records relating to immigration originated in regional customhouses. Each district had a headquarters port with a customhouse and a collector of customs, the chief officer of the district. 489) required the captain or master of a vessel arriving at a port in the United States or any of its territories from a foreign country to submit a list of passengers to the collector of customs.
Customs Service conducted its business by designating collection districts.
On August 3, 1882, Congress passed the first Federal law regulating immigration (22 Stat.
214-215); the Secretary of the Treasury had general supervision over it between 18.
Arriving aliens who came into the United States for 29 days or less were not counted except for those who were either certified by public health officials, held for a board of special inquiry, excluded and deported, or were individuals in transit who announced an intention to depart across another land boundary or by sea.
From 1953 to at least 1957, all arriving aliens at land border ports of entry were counted for statistical purposes except Canadian citizens and British subjects resident in Canada who were admitted for 6 months or less; Mexican citizens who were admitted for 72 hours or less; and returning U. residents who had been out of the country for more than 6 months.
Initially the Bureau retained the same administrative structure of ports of entry that the Customs Service had used. Thus, statistical treatment of Canadian and Mexican border immigrants at times has differed from that of other immigrants.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is currently processing microfilmed immigration records of persons crossing the U. This web page is adapted from Claire Prechtel-Kluskens, "Mexican Border Crossing Records (3 parts)," Vol. After 1874, collectors forwarded only statistical reports to the Treasury Department.
S.-Mexican border; and (3) describes available NARA microfilm publications containing these records. The act also required that the collector submit a quarterly report or abstract, consisting of copies of these passenger lists, to the Secretary of State, who was required to submit such information at each session of Congress.
Although arrival of the latter was not included in immigration statistics, a record of that arrival may still have been made. For example, Syrians and large numbers of Japanese entered at Eagle Pass, Texas, in 1906 an 1907. Chronologically-arranged records usually have a related alphabetical index.
It cannot be said with certainty that the definitions of statistical and nonstatistical arrivals were applied uniformly at any particular port on the Canadian or Mexican borders. As would be expected, Mexican nationals comprised the vast majority of alien arrivals at the U. Japanese, Turkish, Syrian, Guatemalan, and Korean citizens, in addition to many Europeans, entered at Laredo, Texas, 1903-1907. Alphabetically-arranged records are filed by surname, then by first name, subject to special rules.