Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Spanish and Hispanic Studies

First Advisor



This thesis analyzes two documentaries that are the primary sources of this project: La puerta azul (2015), directed by Alicia Medina, and Immigration Nation (2020), directed by Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwartz. These documentaries focus on how detainment of undocumented immigrants is dealt with in Spain and the United States, respectively. In Spain, many undocumented Spanish immigrants have been sent to Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros (CIE) for detainment, while in the United States, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detains illegal immigrants. While these are different methods of detainment, both have undermined the humanity of immigrants in the societies they enter.

While both La puerta azul and Immigration Nation place a heavy focus on juxtaposing positions from government officials and the immigrants regarding how each country handles undocumented immigration, Immigration Nation specifically uses parenthood and the separation of families as a result of immigration detainment to draw out emotion from the audience and to represent a position that is in favor of the immigrants.

When analyzing these documentaries, it is quite evident that the directors are portraying a lack of humanity with which immigrants who enter Spain and the United States are treated. Through analysis of not only the content of the primary sources but the way in which they are produced, including the camera angles, settings, and characters chosen, it is evident that immigrants entering Spain and the United States are not treated justly or with dignity. Both La puerta azul and Immigration Nation demonstrate the parallels between how Spain and the United States detain their undocumented immigrants, the indignities that these immigrants face, and the opposing views that exist between the immigrants and government officials.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.