Today's New York Times "City Room" blog has a fascinating post about a recently-found notebook filled with Chinese characters, apparently a crib sheet for use by an illegal immigrant. As Estelle T. Lau wrote in her book Paper Families: Identity, Immigration Administration, and Chinese Exclusion, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 made the Chinese the first immigrant group officially excluded from the United States. Chinese Americans took advantage of the system’s loophole: children of U.S. citizens were granted automatic eligibility for immigration. The result was an elaborate system of "paper families," in which U.S. citizens of Chinese descent claimed fictive, or "paper," children who could then use their kinship status as a basis for entry into the United States. This subterfuge necessitated the creation of crib sheets outlining genealogies and providing village maps and other information that could be used during immigration processing. The newly found crib sheet apparently belonged to Chung Fook Wing, who attempted to gain entry into the U.S. in 1923 by pretending to be the son of George Sing of Yonkers. His crib sheet apparently worked and he was allowed into the country, but seventeen years later on a drug possession charge and the notebook was found in a search of his papers at a New York City opium den. The notebook then found its way to the National Archives in New York City, where it languished unstudied until quite recently.