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Making the Chinese MexicanGlobal Migration, Localism, and Exclusion in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands$
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Grace Delgado

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804778145

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804778145.001.0001

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Of Kith and Kin

Of Kith and Kin

Chinese and Mexican Relationships in Everyday Meaning

(p.41) 2 Of Kith and Kin
Making the Chinese Mexican
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines personal and economic ties between Chinese and Mexican fronterizos that afforded Chinese newcomers a home abroad. Everyday bonds among fronterizos and the relationships those bonds engendered deepened, changed, and gave new meaning to community and family life. In the midst of the enforcement of Chinese exclusion laws and the monitoring of southern Arizona Chinese communities by immigration officials, kith and kinship networks reinforced claims of social belonging and highlighted personal and practical relationships between people of Chinese and Mexican origin en route to becoming ethnic Americans. Relationships also served to keep the border open. For Sonoran Chinese, claims of Mexican citizenship prompted border officials to extend, rather than deny, the right of entry into the United States and reentry into Mexico, whereas southern Arizona Chinese caught at the border relied on Mexican and Chinese kith and kin for support.

Keywords:   personal ties, economic ties, Chinese fronterizos, Mexican fronterizos, Chinese migrants, exclusion laws, kinship networks

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