Major Department

Interdepartmental Studies


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BS (Bachelor of Science)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2020

Honors Major Advisor

Dr. Sokhieng Au

Thesis Mentor

Dr. Alberto Ortiz-Diaz


Immigration studies often focus on immigration from the Global South to the Global North and fail to recognize other patterns of immigration. The purpose of this study is to fill this lacuna of knowledge by quantitatively and qualitatively exploring immigrants’ perceptions and health experiences in their country of immigration—namely, Latin American immigration to the United States mainland, Dominican immigration to Puerto Rico, and Indian immigration to the United Arab Emirates. The primary research question is: What perceptions and health experiences do immigrants have en route to and upon arrival in their destination countries? A sub-question of the broader topic is: How does the immigrant experience through testimonials differ from the experience reported through other methods, such as academic publications, government reports, and news outlets? By conducting a literature review, I interpreted data from interviews, testimonials, databases, and media outlets using ethnographical, archival, and interdisciplinary methods. Analyzing immigration within both the Global North and the Global South allows researchers to better compare the immigrant experience to develop a global understanding of immigration. Results show that the portrayal of the immigrant experience differs greatly by media source, but commons themes of experience arise: death, economic hardship, trauma, and rights abuse. Audio and visual sources provide viewers and listeners with the faces and voices behind the immigrant experience, while textual sources lack those benefits. However, some reports may contain photographs to support their publications, further compelling the audience. Video sources seem to use more stark and dramatic language than other sources.


immigration, health, Latin America, United States, United Arab Emirates, India

Total Pages



Copyright © 2020 Isabelle Breitfelder