An inside look at four Alien Cases from one box sitting in the National Archives and Research Administration Pacific Region-San Francisco Collections in San Bruno.
They arrived from Mexico, Italy, Ireland and China (via Mexico). Landing in New York, El Paso and San Francisco, their A-Files ultimately ended up in the USCIS collections at the Federal Records Center storage facility in San Francisco (San Bruno). On 22 May 2012, they were among the files of individuals that were born at least 100 years ago that were released by the National Archives for public use. Visit the San Mateo County Genealogy Blog to read more about the release of the files.
Created by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) beginning in 1944, A-Files contain records of active cases of unnaturalized aliens as they passed through the United States immigration and inspection process. In some instances A-Files were created without any action taken by the alien; for example, if the INS initiated a law enforcement action against or involving the alien.
To find an A-file, you need only go to the NARA website and click on the Archival Research Catalog under Search Online. Type Alien Case File and the Alien Registration Number if you have it in the search box. The number can be found on naturalization documents and should be formatted as one string with no zeros or commas, such as "A7124483.” If you do not have the number, type in a name. If there is a file available, you can see where the file is today.
Click on the file link for more information on how to access the file.
This four part series provides a peek inside the A-Files of Bulmaro Esparza of Mexico, Agnese (Quilici) Giusti of Italy, Chew Poy of China and Catherine Webster of Ireland.
Bulmaro Esparza (A3633286)_______________________________________
Born 20 July 1886 in Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Mexico, the son of Crispin Esparza and Senobia Guzman, Bulmaro Esparza arrived in the United States in 1912, crossing over a bridge into Texas, with his first wife Maria Fabian. Maria had a child Eliza in 1914.
After Maria died in 1922, Bulmaro married again on 23 Nov 1923 in El Paso, Texas to Josepha Hernandez who was born in San Pablo Meoqui, Chihuahua, Mexico on 19 Mar 1894.
Bulmaro and Josepha had six children: Ramona, Joe, Gonzal, Salvador, Socorro and Angel. All were born in El Paso between 1925 and 1932. After twenty-five years in the United States, plying his trade as a carpenter and stone mason, Bulmaro left Texas about 1938 and settled in Cutlar, Tulare County, California.
There he worked as a farm laborer for Kilburn Corporation and Pacific Packing Co. in Dinuba when there was work to be had
Bulmaro was denied citizenship on 6 May 1955 because he had “. . . failed to prosecute your petition for naturalization; and for lack of knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of history, and the principals and form of government of the United States.”
Bulmaro must have learned his history as he did attain his citizenship on 1 December 1958 and in the process a second set of papers was added to his file.
Records in Bulmaro’s file include: naturalization certificate; petition to become a citizen; petition work sheet; Notes from an oral interview; Form G135b requesting information on any criminal; Denial of petition from the Superior Court in Visalia 1955; a second set of documents for the first petition; certificate of admission of alien; request for verification of arrival; Alien Registration Form (Form AR-2).
Thank you to Marisa Louie, Archivist at the National Archives at San Francisco for help in preparing this article.
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