They're somewhere out there: The Alien Files

In today's New York Times, page A12, "A Treasure on Paper Goes Public: U.S. Bares 'Alien Files' Kept on Immigrants."

As most of my family was here by the turn of the (last) century, I wasn't even aware these files existed, but they sound like, for those who have more recent immigrant ancestors, a possible wealth of primary sourcei information. That's half the fun of the research, even just the possibility of that elusive treasure trove of information. While apparently you can access these files now through the Freedom of Information Act, it might be worth the wait (and lack of aggravation) to request them from the National Archives - I had no problem getting Charles Haase's military records from them four years ago.

You find out something new and exciting all the time. The downside to the burst in genealogy's popularity is the loads of misinformation passed around as fact, but the upside is people having the interest and power in preserving these valuable documents.