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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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Razas no gratas” and the Color Bar at the Border

Razas no gratas” and the Color Bar at the Border

(p.158) 5Razas no gratas” and the Color Bar at the Border
Porous Borders

Julian Lim

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the hardening of the border during the 1920s and 1930s, and the more expansive racially restrictive immigration regimes that developed from both sides of the border. As the United States shifted its focus from excluding Chinese immigrants to targeting Mexicans, Mexico enacted its own set of immigration policies to marginalize and bar Chinese and African-American movement to Mexico. Using NAACP papers, government correspondence, and immigration records from both U.S. and Mexican archives, this chapter provides a fresh perspective on the experiences of African Americans in Texas who felt the double blow of exclusion at the U.S.-Mexico border: the exclusions of Jim Crow and Mexico’s indigenismo. Providing a more integrated understanding of Chinese, black, and Mexican experiences at the border, the chapter ultimately emphasizes the shared venture between the Mexican and U.S. nation-states in controlling race, immigration, and the nation during the first half of the twentieth century. As racial ideologies and immigration policies migrated across national boundaries, it became more difficult for racialized bodies to do the same. And not only was their multiracial presence physically marginalized within the landscape of the borderlands, they were removed altogether from the nation’s identity and history.

Keywords:   Immigration law – Mexico, Immigration law – United States, Chinese in Mexico, African Americans in Mexico, Mexican deportation, Immigration exclusion, U.S.-Mexico border, Race, National identity – Mexico, National identity – United States

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