Julian Lim

Assistant Professor
TEMPE Campus


Julian Lim is an assistant professor of History at Arizona State University. She holds a bachelor's degree in literature and a law degree from University of California-Berkeley, and received her doctorate in history from Cornell University. Trained in history and law, she focuses on immigration, borders, and race, and has taught in both history department and law school settings.  

Lim's first book, "Porous Borders: Multiracial Migrations and the Law in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands(University of North Carolina Press, December 2017), examines the history of diverse immigrants in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, and the development of immigration policy and law on both sides of the border. The book is based on her dissertation, which received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, as well as the Messenger-Chalmers Prize and the Guilford Prize, both from Cornell University.  

She has published articles on race, immigration and refugee law, and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands in the Pacific Historical Review, the California Law Review, and the U.C. Irvine Law Review. She is also the recipient of various research and travel awards and fellowships. She is currently working on two separate projects: the first is a book about marriage priorities in U.S. immigration law, and the second is an exploration of immigration, law, and American empire in the Hispanic Caribbean.


  • Ph.D. History, Cornell University, Department of History 2013
  • J.D. University of California-Berkeley School of Law 2003
  • B.A. English Literature, University of California-Berkeley 1998

Research Interests

U.S.-Mexico Border


Frontiers and Borderlands

Comparative Race Relations

Nineteenth and Twentieth Century U.S. History

Race and Law



  • Porous Borders: Multiracial Migrations and the Law in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (University of North Carolina Press, December 2017).


  • “Immigrants and the State: Assessing the Promise and Perils of U.S. Immigration Legislation,” co-authored with Maddalena Marinari, Modern American History 2 (forthcoming). (invited)
  • “A Shadow on the Past: Teaching and Studying Migration and Borders in the Age of Trump,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (forthcoming). (invited)
  • “Reconceptualizing Asian Pacific American Identity at the Margins,” UC Irvine Law Review 3:4 (2014): 1151-77.
  • “Immigration, Asylum, and Citizenship: A More Holistic Approach,” California Law Review 101:4 (2013): 1013-77.
  • Chinos and Paisanos: Chinese-Mexican Relations in the Borderlands,” Pacific Historical Review 79:1 (2010): 50-85.
  • “Tongue Tied in the Market: The Relevance of Contract Law to Racial-Language Minorities,” California Law Review 91 (2003): 579-620.


Op-eds and Public Writings:

Research Activity


  • Book: Marital Boundaries: Marriage and Immigration Law in U.S. History
  • Book: Aliens and Empire: Immigration and the Borders of U.S. Expansion
  • Article: “Monogamous Borders: Race, Religion, and Anti-Polygamy in U.S. Immigration Law”
  • Article: “Plenary Powers: Indians and Immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1870-1910”


Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
HST 325 Immigration & Ethnicity in US
HST 494 Special Topics
HST 591 Seminar
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
HST 110 United States Since 1865
HST 495 Methods of Historical Inquiry
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
HST 110 United States Since 1865
HST 325 Immigration & Ethnicity in US
Spring 2016
Course Number Course Title
HST 306 Studies in US History
HST 325 Immigration & Ethnicity in US
HST 790 Reading and Conference
Fall 2015
Course Number Course Title
HST 325 Immigration & Ethnicity in US
HST 494 Special Topics