Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


American Studies

Second Department

Hispanic Studies

Reader 1

Marina Pérez de Mendiola

Reader 2

Martha Gonzalez

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2015 Beatriz E. Maldonado


The research highlights Salvadoran migrants’ identities within the United States since their departure from El Salvador during its Civil War. The purpose of this research is to provide a historical context of the Civil War and an analysis of the transitions of documentation that occur upon arriving to the United States. In doing so, I demonstrate how physical documentation builds an influential and detrimental power over the Salvadoran migrants’ participation within the community. It is important to mention the Civil War because of two reasons: one, for its introduction to various stages of enduring violence, and two, for its impact on migration laws towards Salvadoran refugees. This research not only portrays the various shifts of aggression, but it also distinguishes documentation as a juxtaposition between legality and classism. More importantly, the findings reveal a correlation between these dynamics of violent documentation and the Salvadorans’ distorted, misguided, and inconclusive perceptions that they hold about the concepts of belonging and identity.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.