Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Stephanie A. Mueller


South America, Immigration, Border Control, Prevention Through Deterrence, Hispanic Migrants



FRIEDRICH, LILLIAN Como si nunca hubieran existido: Los efectos mortales de la prevención a través de la disuasión en Sin Nombre y 7 Soles

ADVISOR: Stephanie A. Mueller, PhD

This thesis analyzes two primary source drama films that center around the process of immigration that Hispanic migrants experience to enter the United States. Sin Nombre, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga in 2009, shows how Hispanic migrants utilize a train called The Beast to get from Central America to the U.S- Mexico border, facing the dangers of a moving vehicle and gang violence. 7 Soles, directed by Pedro Ultreras in 2008, shows a group of migrants crossing the infamous desert that extends into the United States with the help of coyotes, facing the dangers of the coyotes themselves and the uninhabitable desert environment. The two films show the negative physical and psychological effects that the immigration system, specifically prevention through deterrence, causes these migrants and they debate its intentionality on migrant deaths while crossing.

Analysis of both films suggests that the way in which the directors chose to include or leave out certain elements might have been unintentional, though they help to show the purposeful effects of prevention through deterrence on migrants. I interpret the films as such in the attempt to show the implications of a system that meticulously targets Hispanic migrants before they even reach the U.S southern border. This policy is detrimental to this population of migrants and is spreading globally, which is why movies that portray violence against Hispanic migrants have surfaced in recent years. My thesis will examine the films’ depictions of how prevention through deterrence as the forefront of United States immigration policy is disproportionately killing Hispanic migrants.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.