The index cards to air passenger manifests of alien arrivals at Miami, Florida, that make up this database are Form 548, "Manifest or Report of Inspection," used by the Immigration Service. According to NARA, “At many ports, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) normally used this card as a complete record of all the information about an alien's arrival. In this instance, the INS used it as an index card containing most, if not all, of the information on related airplane passenger lists.”
The cards ask more than two dozen questions and will generally contain a person’s name, age, sex, marital status, place of birth, physical description, occupation, citizenship (nationality), race, ability to read and write and in what language, place of last permanent residence, port and date of arrival, final destination, and purpose for entering the U.S. They can also include the name and address of a friend or relative the alien intended to meet up with, people who were accompanying the traveler, and the name and address of the alien’s nearest relative or friend in the country from which he or she came. Dates and places of past visits to or residency in the U.S are also recorded.
On the back of the card is a medical certificate where any medical concerns an inspector had might be noted, as well as other remarks and endorsements.
Records can be searched by date of arrival, name, estimated birth year, gender, country of birth, and race, or they can be browsed by surname.