Thursday, May 23, 2013

Alien Case Files at the National Archives in Kansas City

Last week Ancestry published the index to Alien Case Files at the National Archives in Kansas City. This is an exciting development for me, as I was able to quickly find my great-grandmother Manuela Portillo Campuzano in the index. What is the index? Well, if you had an ancestor who was an alien in the US in or after 1940, you will want to see what is in the A-File.

What is in the A-File?

According to the description on Ancestry, contents vary but the database has the index to files for immigrants born prior to 1909, created between 1944-2003. The files can contain:
  • Vias
  • Alien registration (AR-2 form)
  • Petitions and Affidavits
  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Identification documents
The Alien Registration Act of 1940 required aliens 14 or older living in the US to register and be fingerprinted. The Immigration and Naturalization Service created the AR-2 form for registering aliens beginning in August 1940.

A Quick Response

On Monday evening I sent a request to the appropriate email address for NARA Kansas City to request a copy of Manuela's A-File. Today I received a response from a helpful archivist at the Archives who had the file. I was able to make a payment for the copies over the phone, and she's sending the file in the mail. There are six pages in the file including a photograph.

I am hoping the file has information on Manuela's father, Manuel Portillo. His side of the tree is a brick wall for the moment. I'll post an update after I receive the file.

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