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Alien registration card

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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Alien registration card

Postby jamurp01 » 05 Mar 2010, 14:40

Im in a huge predicament...

I need to get a copy of my great grandfather's alien registration card; last step of my citizenship. Two years ago, I performed the index search request at USCIS and received the results that stated that there was no one by that name, with that birthdate, in their archives. They only located another individual's alien registration card, with the same name as my ggf, but his birthdate was different. Therefore, I requested and received the "Certificate on Non-Existence."

Now, the Boston Consulate wants a copy of the alien registration card; but the joke of this is- there isn't one! The consulate has recommended me to contact the Nat'l Archives Administration in Waltham, Mass. But on their website, they don't allow you to request records. I suppose I can use the NARA national website to order a search; but I cannot find where to order specifically the Alien Registration Card copy, nor do I have an A-file number..

Can anyone tell me the correct process to obtain this copy, or give me some hints as to what to do next? Its been two years of hearing "oh, you need to get this document... okay, now wait, you need to get another one!" (most recently it was a ship manifest) I would appreciate anyone's tips or comments... please!
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Re: Alien registration card

Postby johnnyonthespot » 05 Mar 2010, 15:03

When did your ancestor arrive in the US? When did he - sorry, I can't think of a better term just now - when did he die?

Alien Registration's were not always required; perhaps your ancestor was not living at the time they were instituted, which I believe was 1940. See this article.
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Re: Alien registration card

Postby johnnyonthespot » 05 Mar 2010, 15:05

Also, if you don't mind, what was your ancestor's name and date/place of birth? People here often find the unfindable; you may want to give us a shot at it.
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Re: Alien registration card

Postby jamurp01 » 05 Mar 2010, 15:18

thanks for such a quick response!

My great grandfather's name info:

Antonino Russo-
b. June 29th 1870, Biancavilla Sicilia
marriage: Feb 13 1902, Biancavilla Sicilia
d. Nov. 22 1949, Waltham Mass

Emigration: Apr 25 1914, from Palermo to Ellis Island on the Patria

wife: Grazia Verzi
daugther (my grandmother): Anna Russo (born in Rollingsford NH)

Antonino Russo lived in Lawerence Mass after he landed in America, then the family moved to Rollingsford New Hampshire, then moved back to Mass sometime after that..

I need to prove that he never naturalized between 1914, and March 11, 1918!

He was also registered on the 1930 census in NH (strattford county) as still being an alien....

I have a record for an Antonino Russo b. July 18th 1870 with an alien registration number, but not my great grandfather :(
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Re: Alien registration card

Postby johnnyonthespot » 05 Mar 2010, 16:05

For anyone else searching, the Patria's arrival date was May 8, 1914.

Jamurp, just so you know, when we speak of immigration dates, we use the ship's arrival date, not the sail date.
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Re: Alien registration card

Postby jamurp01 » 05 Mar 2010, 16:11

I'm so sorry! I just realized that as I was on the phone with NARA's northeast office.. yes that was definitely the departure date (I forgot to scroll to the second page of the document!)

Most of the information I have read regarding the alien registration card leads me to believe that it was mainly done to register aliens for WWII.. I don't know if it relates (or not) but he would have been wayyyyy too old for any war activity!

Is it possible that an alien never registered, see as he was already pretty old at the time they enforced this new act?

The NARA office has informed me that they do not handle Alien Registration Cards.. to contact the USCIS regarding this... now im stuck!

Although I don't have any memberships to the genealogy forums, is there anywhere that you can recommend for me to help you search?

Thank you again for taking the time to assist me!
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Re: Alien registration card

Postby johnnyonthespot » 05 Mar 2010, 16:27

I would say that there should most definitely be either an Alien Registration Card or proof of naturalization. Oftentimes thse are difficult to find due to corrupted spellings or transcriptions of origianl documents, but with a name like "Antonio Russo", this would be less likely.

Got to keep looking...
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Re: Alien registration card

Postby johnnyonthespot » 05 Mar 2010, 16:42

If you look at the manifest, you will see that several of the entries (including the one just below Antonio) have some numbers notated to the right of the given name (1-406244, for example).

These numbers were put there when the immigrant filed a Declaration of Intention - the first step towards naturalization. When filing that document, the immigrant required a "Certificate of Arrival" to prove that he/she was in the country legally. In order to issue the Certificate of Arrival, the official would review the manifest of the immigrants claimed voyage, and if valid, issue the certificate and make a notation on the manifest.

Since there are no numbers next to Antonio's name, I suspect this indicates that he did not naturalize. Having said that, there should certainly be an Alien Registration Card.
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Re: Alien registration card

Postby jamurp01 » 05 Mar 2010, 16:48

Who would I find the information regarding the Alien registration card? Should I go back to the USCIS? Do you think it's possible that they would have the wrong birthdate on file for my great grandfather or that they just didn't search well enough (I have read on this forum and others about how horribly wrong the USCIS can be?)

Where can I find out more about locating a copy of an alien registration card?
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Re: Alien registration card

Postby vj » 05 Mar 2010, 17:17

jamurp01 wrote:...
Where can I find out more about locating a copy of an alien registration card?


Here's a great article on the alien registration cards
Alien Registration Records
By Kimberly Powell, About. com Guide
http://genealogy.about.com/od/immigrati ... _cards.htm
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Re: Alien registration card

Postby jamurp01 » 05 Mar 2010, 17:23

Oh no your link doesnt work?!
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Re: Alien registration card

Postby vj » 05 Mar 2010, 17:25

jamurp01 wrote:Oh no your link doesnt work?!


If you type this into a google search it will take you there

Alien Registration Records kimberly powell
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Re: Alien registration card

Postby jamurp01 » 05 Mar 2010, 17:27

oops i got it, sorry for the stupid previous post...

but, is it possible for an index request to be wrong? There is not one that showed up from my previous index request form... only someone else (with a different birthdate...)
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Re: Alien registration card

Postby jamurp01 » 05 Mar 2010, 17:29

i've dealt with USCIS previously, and ultimately ended up having a state representative to contact them personally to receive a "certificate of non-existence" and that experience took me over eight months....
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Re: Alien registration card

Postby johnnyonthespot » 05 Mar 2010, 17:34

What info do you have on the July 18, 1870 Antonio Russo?

If other details agree (place of birth, address, etc), I would be inclined to believe this is your Antonio. For one thing, Italians often seem to play fast and loose with their date of birth vs. their date of baptism, so a difference of 19 days may be accounted for on that alone.

How did you come upon the June 29, 1870 birthdate, by the way?
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