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NARA Border Crossing Records

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By nc_coleman - Posted on 28 February 2006

Last September, at the Hispanic Genealogy Conference held @NARA,
Washington, DC, one of the presentations had to do with "Mexican
Border Crossing (Immigration) Records. The presentation was given by
Claire Prechtel-Kluskens, and most of the details of her presentation
can be found at the following NARA site:
http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/immigration/border-mexico.html
It is very detailed, and should be read with care.
Some of the basics are as follows:
- records of arrivals at Mexican borders began in 1906;
- information on immigrants was initially recorded as for ship
manifests, but this proved impractical, and a system of "card
manifests" was initiated;
- if a person indicated they would be in the U.S. for less than 6
months, no record was made;
- some records are arranged alphabetically, while others are arranged
chronologically (possibly with an alphabetical index);
- to date, immigration records are available for 24 land border ports
(these are listed in the NARA site mentioned above).

My recollection is that the filming of the border crossing records is
NOT yet complete, and the majority of the El Paso records are yet to
be filmed (I think because it has the greatest number of records; the
other ports had fewer immigrants/records so they were filmed first).
To sum up, NARA is still filming Mexican border crossing records, and
may not be finished for another year or two (that was my
understanding).
I hope this is helpful to you.

Natalie Castro Coleman,
researching Castro, Garcia, Dueñas, and others in Zacatecas

Joseph - did you record this presentation?

PS - I have not yet signed into the Nuestro Ranchos site.

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Thank you, Natalie. Marge:)

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