The files that I looked at dealt with liberty bonds and specifically how they were canceled after a person of Asian descent was sent back to Asia. Noor Din was an Indian national who came to the United States in 1922. Din applied for admission to the United States and was approved for temporary admission. He was denied admission into the country through San Francisco then he reapplied for entrance and was denied again. He left in 1914 to return to India, prior to leaving he made sure he had letters of recommendations from white Americans who knew him saying he was a good alien. Upon returning to the US and trying to gain entry he was denied because these letters were not seen as valid so he was denied entry. Eventually Noor Din is able to get into the United States, but his approval was not in the file iI was able to find out more about him through Ancestry.com. Din was seen again in the 1930 census where he had a 5-year-old daughter. He appears one more time in the 1950’s social security it also lists his residence in El Centro, California. Many South Asians settled In southern California where there was a large ethnic enclave. There were other liberty bonds, but they were for Chinese immigrants.
File 54988/36, Subject Correspondence, 1906-1932, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, DC)
On this trip most of the files that I went through a case file that had men with the last name Singh. Most of these men were deported based on their entry to the Unites States. The largest file was 53246/4 dealt with Teja Singh who entered the country multiple times illegally. Singh was able to enter the country through Mexico to be an agricultural laborer. The case file spanned from 1922 to 1934 during this time he applied for citizenship. He reapplied one final time and was denied readmission to the United States because of the Barred Zone Act in 1938. He was also denied because he did not have favorable action. Teja first entered the country in 1922 through Mexico and was sent for deportation in 1924 due to the Barred Zone Act but wasn’t deported until 1925. There were some letters that were written by those who knew who he was to show his good character. Clearly these letters do nothing for him since he was deported. There was a statement that talks about his deportation via a ship to Hong Kong then India. He was also held in San Francisco and by the paperwork it seems he was held at Angel Island. Another file 53246/5 and 6 look at the two other men who were with Teja and deported. They also entered the United States through Mexico during the time of the ban. These men were sent to India via Hong Kong as well and it cost the government about $75 to do so. Most deportation was based on who was coming into the country and how they were getting into the country. Going through Mexico was the fastest way for people to be denied entry because at the time they were more worried about the Chinese crossing the border then those of Asian descent. However, when INS found out about them entering the country it was an illegal entry. This relates to the class due to the Immigration Act of 1917 or as it is better known the Barred Zone Act. A literacy test and ban on Asian immigrants came from it. The act led to a ban that went on for well over thirty years.
File 53246/4 , Subject and Policy files, 1893-1957, Records of Immigration and naturalization Services, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, DC).
File 53246/5, Subject and Policy files, 1893-1957, Records of Immigration and naturalization Services, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, DC).
At the National Archives I came across a few interesting pieces of documentation. I found a few files that were on the exclusion and detainment of East Indian crew members. File 55179-40 talks about the detainment of a crew aboard a British steamer. This crew was detained at the port of Norfolk, Virginia and held on bond. The bond for the 21 members cost 10,500 since they were left at the port while their vessel moved on to the next port. They were eventually picked up by their ship and returned to England causing the bond to be canceled. Another file 55179-41 also talked about crew members who left their ship and were picked up, 20 of them left the ship and four others deserted the ship. They were jailed until they could be put on a ship sent to England and the bond was also canceled for this group. These two files bring up the point that those who are on a ship are not able to leave it without being detained. It seems however, to mostly be associated with those of Asian descent as all these men were.
There were also other documents that were exclusion records and many people were denied entry because they were listed as L.P.C.’s. Those who were denied were either women who came by themselves or were young boys who entered the country under the age of 16. Finally, I looked at certificates that were on border crossings. Most of the crossing certificates dealt with those who worked for businesses and needed to go into Canada for work.
- File 55149-40, Subject and Policy files, 1893-1957, Records of Immigration and naturalization Services, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, DC).
- File 55149-41, Subject and Policy files, 1893-1957, Records of Immigration and naturalization Services, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, DC).