Skip navigation.

Immigration Resources


The Immigration Bureau was organized in 1891 as the Office of the Superintendent of Immigration. Prior to that date, immigration reports were collected and transmitted but the State Department until 1874, and thereafter through the Statistics Bureau of the Treasury Department.

Under the act of March 3, 1933, and an executive order effective August 10, 1933, the Immigration and Naturalization Service was formed through the consolidation of the former Bureaus of Immigration and of Naturalization. Reorganization Plan V effective June 14, 1940, transferred the Service from the Department of Labor to the Department of Justice. 

On March 1, 2003, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 transferred the service and benefit functions of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Additional description of the agencies and their publications

Bureau of Immigration/INS Annual Reports

The Annual Reports of the Commissioner General of Immigration afford the primary source of information regarding the number of persons arriving in or departing from the U.S. From 1820 to 1870 annual reports were made to Congress by the Secretary of State and printed as documents of Congress.  These reports were entitled Passengers arriving in United States. For a list of report numbers and Serial Set volumes see

From 1869 to 1895 the annual report entitled "Foreign Commerce and Navigation" issued by the Bureau of Statistics of the Treasury Department, contained this information, although the Superintendent of Immigration also issued reports from 1892 to 1894.

Annual reports:
The Foreign Commerce and Navigation of the United States.
(Search in Congressional Indexes : using the terms "foreign commerce AND navigation")
also available as HF105.A2 Main [1848/49-1950], however many volumes are in NRLF.
United States. Bureau of Immigration. Annual Report
JV6414.A3 Main [1892-1932]
Annual Report of the Commissioner of Naturalization
JK1800.A4 Main [1913/14-1931/32]
Annual Report, Immigration and Naturalization Service
JV6414.A36 Main [1941/42, 1944/45-1979/80, 1981/82, 1985/86]
Triennial Comprehensive Reports on Immigration, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [1999 to present]
Statistical yearbook of the Immigration and Naturalization Service U.S. Department of Justice, INS. Washington,D.C. : The Service : U.S. G.P.O.
JV6461.U53 S73 Doe Reference Gov/Stat (latest), earlier in Main. 1978-1984, 1986-1989-
American Statistics Index, 6264-2 (Microfiche 1251 GREF); 1989, 1991- present.

As of 2002, new title:Yearbook of Immigration Statistics Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS), Office of Management, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (1996-current)

See also: William J. Bromwell. History of immigration to the United States, exhibiting the number, sex, age, occupation, and country of birth, of passengers arriving ... by sea from foreign countries, from September 30, 1819 to December 31, 1855; compiled entirely from official data: with an introductory review of the progress and extent of immigration to the United States prior to 1819, and an appendix, containing the naturalization and passenger laws of the United States. New York: Redfield, 1856.

Major Sets

Reports of the Immigration Commission. U.S. Immigration Commission
JV6417.CO7 GREF, v. 1-41 (1911) and Main

v.1-2 Abstracts of reports of the Immigration Commission.
v.3 Statistical review of immigration, 1820-1910.
v.4 Emigration conditions in Europe.
v.5 Dictionary of races of peoples.
v.6-25 Immigrants in industries.
v.26-27 Immigrants in cities.
v.28 Occupations of the first and second generation of immigrants in the US. Fecundity of immigrant women.
v.29-33 The children of immigrants in schools.
v.34-35 Immigrants as charity seekers.
v.36 Immigration and crime.
v.37 Steerage conditions. Importation and harboring of women for immoral purposes. Immigrant homes and aid societies. Immigrant banks.
v.38 Changes in bodily form of descendants of immigrants.
v.39 Federal immigration legislation. Digest of immigration decisions. Steerage legislation, 1819-1908. State immigration and alien law.
v.40 The immigration situation in other countries.
v.41 Statements and recommendations submitted by societies and organizations interested in the subject of immigration.
Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Series A, Subject correspondence files.Bethesda, MD : University Publications of America, 1993-1996
News/Micro Microfilm 71194 ser.A

pt.1. Asian immigration and exclusion, 1906-1913, supplement, 1898-1941.
pt.2. Mexican immigration, 1906-1930
pt.3. Ellis Island, 1900-1933
pt.4. European investigation, 1893-1936
pt.5. Prostitution and "White Slavery", 1902-1933

American Immigrant Autobiographies Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1989
News/Micro Microfilm 71258

Voices of Ellis Island: an oral history of American immigration Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1987
News/Micro Microfilm 24312

Reports to Congress/Legislation

Lexis/Nexis Congressional UC Access Only: indexes reports, hearings, prints, and documents issued from the United States Congress from 1789 to the present.

To locating the hearings and committee prints that are indexed in Lexis/Nexis Congressional, check the UCB card catalog by title for the call number. Congressional hearings are also available in microfiche [pre-1935] in GREF Fiche 1861. 

For House and Senate reports and documents, note:

1- congress number,
2- report number,
3- and serial set volume number (post 97th Congress this may not be listed), and
4- Pre-1970 Serial Set volumes are located in NRLF or available in GREF microfiche 3136
5- - ask at the Doe Reference Desk for the location if needed [Tip: Search OskiCat by Title: United States Congressional Serial Set to locate appropriate NRLF request number]

Asian Americans and Congress : a documentary history
. Edited by Hyung-chan Kim ; foreword by Thomas E. Stuen. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1996. KF4848.A83.A96 1996 GREF

Immigration Law: an overview via Cornell University's Legal Information Institute

Census Publications

Catalog of Census publications 1790-1972.
HA12 A256 1972 GREF
Schulze, Suzanne. Population Information in Nineteenth Century Census Volumes. Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1983. HA214 S44 1983 GREF
------. Population Information in Twentieth Century Census Volumes: 1900-1940. Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1985. HA214 S381 1985 GREF
------. Population Information in Twentieth Century Census Volumes: 1950-1980. Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1988. HA214 S38 1988 GREF

Selected Internet Resources