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Porous BordersMultiracial Migrations and the Law in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands$
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Julian Lim

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469635491

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469635491.001.0001

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A Promiscuous Crowd

A Promiscuous Crowd

(p.63) 2 A Promiscuous Crowd
Porous Borders

Julian Lim

University of North Carolina Press

Focusing on the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez border, this chapter demonstrates how Chinese, Mexicans, and African Americans blurred color lines to create dynamic social environments as well as new legal dilemmas in the borderlands. Drawing upon local newspapers, legal documents, city records, maps, and census materials, the chapter illuminates the various freedoms that non-white people struggled to realize together – particularly in work, public spaces, homes, and marriages. But the chapter also shows how the realities of multiracial life in the borderlands encountered the pressures of an escalating ideology of racial purity and segregation in the United States, culminating in the migration of black-Mexican families across the border into Mexico. Such de-facto expulsions would be a preview of the massive legal expulsions that were yet to come.

Keywords:   El Paso, African American, Mexican, Chinese, Multiracial relations, Marriage and intermarriage, Race, Segregation, Ciudad Juárez, U.S.-Mexico border

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