Blog Post #3

During our final visit to the National Archives, I was only able to find four out of the eleven files that I was hoping to find. Two files had no relevancy to our topic, however, and the other two files were from the first box I was given on our first trip to the archives. I wanted to take better notes and that box was filled with good cases of people inflicted with a disease or other limitations which usually led to deportation. Since our group had divided presentation duties, I had a better focus on what I needed to look for in the files I was able to find.

For the presentation, I am in charge of the deportation of immigrants and the reasons for their deportation. One case I found was that of Guadalupe Garcia and her children [1]. They were trying to enter the country through El Paso to join her husband and their father who had a stable job and a home for them to live. Inspectors and doctors found out that Guadalupe had a tumor in her thyroid gland, which caused her problems to earn a living. Along with the tumor, Guadalupe was illiterate, and inspectors excluded her because she would become an LPC. Her children were also excluded since they would have become public charges even though the father could have provided for all of them. I did further research through ancestry and found her papers that were filled to exit Mexico, however, the entire document is in Spanish. Only some information was understood, such as the doctor who inspected Mrs. Garcia, which just so happened to have been Dr. Hume, which other people in my group have previously mentioned in their blog posts.

Another case I saw was that of Clemencia Arreola [2]. During questioning, inspectors found out she had lied about her age. She told inspectors she was fifty-one, but in reality, she was forty. She was entering the country to join her son who lived in the United States with his wife, a brother, and two sisters, who were all dependants on him. Her son made $2 a day. Clemencia had a daughter back in Mexico she could easily live with, if not allowed to enter the country. She ended up excluded from the United States for being illiterate and due to the possibility of her becoming an LPC.

[1] File 54,671-005, accession E9, Subject Correspondence, 1906-1932, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, DC)

[2] File 54,671-012, accession E9, Subject Correspondence, 1906-1932, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, DC)

Archives Day 2 Alyx Wilson

On our second day at the archives I was tasked to find a specific record on Roelof Bakker. The interesting thing about Roelof Bakker was that was not his real name; his real name was Isadore Kolb. The files contained many letters from the Kolb family and different perspectives on why this alien was deported to Tampico, Mexico.

         The Kolb family immigrated to the United States from Hungary in 1913 and were living in New York. Mentioned in one document, it was said that Isadore Kolb had fled America to Mexico, to avoid the Draft Act that he was registered under. While in Mexico he purchased a passport that belonged to a Dutchman by the name of Roelof Bakker and tried to reenter the United States after not being able to find employment in Mexico. He was arrested and it was soon figured out that he was not Roelof Bakker, but instead Isadore Kolb. His sister, Cyrus Kolb, tried to argue that her brother traveled the country but then fled to Mexico after a dispute with his father over religious views. The questionnaire for the Draft Act was delivered to her and he was not there to receive it, thus he was charged with violation of section 3, title 9 of the Espionage act. Once he was arrested from trying to reenter the United States, the question was to figure out whether or not he was from Holland, like the passport said, or if he was from Hungary, which was what his family was saying. During that time, he was posted for bail at $500 and was allowed to work during the investigation.

         While this alien was from New York, copies of these files were sent to the port of El Paso due to the possible return of this alien after his year of being deported. Since he came through from Mexico after he fled, he was deported back to Mexico. He was given the chance to reenter the United States a year after his deportation temporarily but permanently would have had to be decided at a later date. It is unclear if the alien came back after his probation.

Immigrant Inspector, Ellis Island, NY, to Commissioner of Immigration, Ellis Island, NY, February 5, 1919, File 54395/66, Subject Correspondence, 1906-1932, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, DC).

Archive Blog Post #1 Alyx Wilson

Professor Moon’s 449 class took our first trip to the National Archives in Washington D.C., Friday September 27, 2019. I did not know what to expect exactly while on the drive up there, but I wasn’t disappointed when we got into the research room. It got a bit stressful when I received my first box of records. There was just a medium sized box filled with papers that were over 100 years old on real people sitting in front of me on a desk. Honestly I did not know what to expect with the contents in these files. When I got comfortable on what I was looking for and how to quickly figure out which records I had use for and those I didn’t, I got the hand of things pretty quick.

At first going to the Archives seemed fun; just looking at pieces of paper with peoples lives on them. Once I started looking through them and looking at the dates on those records, the little history nerd in me got really excited because those papers were old. Some records had handwritten letters from the immigrant in question, there were little doctors slips from when they were inspected and told exactly what the medical problem was of each person, and I even found building and street layouts in one file when there were plans to make the Public Health, Immigration, and Customs all in one stop in El Paso. One example is of Dr. Isaac Rivera and his family[1]. He was a doctor from Mexico who wanted to enter the States to buy things for his store back home and to have a surgery performed on his son. They were denied access because his store was affiliated to Germans, pro-Germans, and Anti-Americans. He hand wrote a four-page letter expressing his expulsion of the United States.

[1]Commissioner General, New York, N.Y., to Inspector at El Paso, Texas., 1919, File 54671/7, Subject Correspondence, 1906-1932, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, DC).