Category Archives: File

Proposed 492% fee increase for USCIS documents – Submit comments before 16 December 2019

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently proposed a 492% increase in fees required to access historical records held by the USCIS Genealogy Program. Many of these records should already be publicly accessible.

  1. These include the A-files for records numbered under 8 million.
  2. Current fee $65 for a search, which has no guarantee of results
  3. Proposed fee $240! + $385 for the paper file.

1912 Gong Kay photo1912 Photo of Gong Kay from A-File at National Archives at San Francisco

Summary of the Issues:

  • Access: Fees – starting at $240 and up to $625 for a single file
  • Transparency: USCIS proposes a raise in fees with virtually no explanation.
  •  Efficiency: These files should already be at the National Archives (NARA). Some already exist at NARA but are withheld from the public due to restrictions placed by USCIS.
  •  Visa Files and Registry Files, both subject to the proposed $625 total fee, became eligible for transfer to NARA in April 2019. These records should already be available to the public at NARA.
  •  Alien Registration Forms, subject to the proposed $240 fee, exist on microfilm at NARA but remain unavailable because of a USCIS restriction. A-Files of immigrants born more than 100 years ago should be at NARA, as per its 2009 schedule.

Make your voice heard in 3 easy steps:

Step 1: Review the proposed rule here, and jump to the Genealogy Program section here.

Step 2: Write your comments on the issues. See https://www.recordsnotrevenue.com/#conversationstarters for thoughts on how to begin.

Step 3: Send your comments BEFORE 16 December 2019 to

AND
• Send a copy of your comments to your US Senators and Representative, and refer to DHS Docket No. USCIS-2019-0010. Tell them you care about preserving access to federal records!

Sign up to stay informed on this important effort: and learn more at  https://www.recordsnotrevenue.com/

Update from the Save Our National Archives group, led by Jeanie Low and Jennie Lew: USCIS has finally released the A-files for people born between 1911 and 1915 to the National Archives at San Bruno. NARA already has all the A-files for people who passed through San Francisco and were born from 1910 and earlier available, and they are indexed at NARA’s website.

Write your comments to USCIS then request your ancestors’ A- or C-files in case the price does skyrocket!

 

Grace Chen by Cathy Chen Lee

The following is an example of how a Chinese Exclusion Act case file can add to your family history. Cathy Lee had numerous family stories about her great-aunt, Grace Chen, but there were many dates and places missing. Once Grace’s Chinese Exclusion Act file was found, Cathy searched additional archives and libraries and found more documents about her aunt. The article below is the culmination of the Cathy’s research and the fascinating story of the life of Grace Chen. Go to article at Grace Chen by Cathy Lee

“Grace Chen, Section Six Precis photo”1928, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Grace Chen case file, Seattle Box 1102, file 9666/2-7.

Highlights of the 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike Ceremony

150 Anniversary Railroad Golden Days – Actors in period costumes for a reenactment. (Photo provided by Al Young) published in Northwest Asian Weekly

PICTORIAL: 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike Ceremony

See the highlights of the 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike Ceremony in Northwest Asian Weekly

Golden Spike Conference, May 8 -11, 2019; Salt Lake City, Utah

Golden Spike Conference, May 8 to 11, 2019, Marriott-City Creek Hotel, 75 South West Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101

150th Anniversary of the Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, sponsored by CRWDA, Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association

Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association

“Chinese Builders of Gold Mountain” View the Video on the KVIE (PBS) WEBSITE (26:56 minutes)  Celebrate the hard work, courage, and determination of the Chinese pioneers who helped build California. Visit historic Chinese temples, Gold Rush sites, and the levies the Chinese built.

The Chinese and the Iron Road: Building the Transcontinental Railroad
Edited by Gordon H. Chang and Shelley Fisher Fishkin

Meng Calls for Commemorative Postage Stamp In Honor of the Approximately 12,000 Chinese Immigrant Laborers Who Helped Build America’s Transcontinental Railroad

Building A Memorial Monument to Commemorate the Chinese Railroad Workers

Recovering an erased history: The Chinese railroad workers who helped connect the country

Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project

CAWW2.png

The Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project will capture, preserve and aggregate the names of those Chinese Americans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces—Army, Army Air Corps, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine—and create the only database of its kind of the achievements and contributions of Chinese Americans during the Second World War. The perpetuation of their legacy enriches the history of this country.

If you have stories, documents, or other materials about the Chinese Americans in WWII, contact Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project  https://www.caww2.org/preservation to help preserve these memories.

See the website for registration instructions and contact information.