Blog Post III

Of all of the files I viewed this latest trip to the National Archives, I found only one that related to South Asian immigration. The file is a table of all of the number of immigrants admitted into the country from each geographic region in relation to the quota established in the 1924 National Origins Quota Act. The file contains multiple copies of the tables for 1931 and 1932 along with a table recording the number of immigrants and emigrants each year after 1921. The 1931 table records the nation of origin, the quota for that nation, and the number of immigrants admitted per fiscal year; the 1932 table includes all the above in addition to the number of immigrants admitted per the calendar year. The file also includes a few copies of the 1931 and 1932 tables that have handwriting. One copy of the 1932 table has the handwritten inclusion of the number of immigrants admitted in February 1932, one copy of the 1932 table has an unspecified column added, and a copy of the 1931 table includes a column tallying the number of immigrants admitted per the calendar year. Unfortunately, the documents do not break down the division of which immigrants came from which port of entry nor in which office this table was compiled, but it can be assumed that the table was made in the central D.C. office based on the context of the document. These documents are interesting because they show for neither 1931 nor 1932 did Indian immigration hit the quota limit of 100.[1] The records also show the effect of the National Origins Quota Act as well as the Great Depression. Interestingly, in the document recording immigration numbers pre-1930, South Asians were not separated from Asians in general, indicating that there was a change in how the categories divided.


[1]File 55,775-593, Subject and Policy Files, 1893-1957, Records of Immigration and Naturalization Services, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, DC).

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