Yesterday I republished an announcement written by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration that describes the transfer at least 21 million files to National Archives facilities near San Francisco and Kansas City. Today's USA Today has an excellent follow-up article that describes what the move means to historians, genealogists, scholars and descendants.
"Individually, these files represent the story of just one immigrant," says Gregory Smith of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, "but as a collection, they document the story of American immigration ... with its many wonders and its many blemishes."
The files were compiled under the Alien Registration Act of 1940. They include photos, visa applications, birth certificates, personal letters and transcripts of interrogations of celebrities and unknowns.
A searchable index of the files is available at www.uscis.gov/genealogy.
You can read more at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-06-04-immigration-files_N.htm.