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Dear Mr. Shaw,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
A large number of immigrants came to the United States via Canada during the mid- and late nineteenth century, and for them there is no U.S. immigration record. They landed at the Canada-US border where no U.S. officer met them or recorded information about their arrival in the United States. The ever-growing number of immigrants who chose this route in the late 1800s finally convinced the United States, in 1894, to build and operate the bureaucratic machinery necessary to document the many thousands who each year entered at points along its northern border. See the NARA Prologue article titled By Way of Canada for more information.
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