Orange Is the New Black left Blanca Flores' fate uncertain after the Season 6 finale that led to a heartbreaking immigration storyline in the final season. After Blanca (Laura Gómez) was seemingly set for early release from max, she was diverted from the exit to the prison to a bus set to take her to one of PolyCon's new ICE detention centers. The storyline shone a spotlight on the current conditions immigrants face in the centers as they face deportation.
Spoilers ahead for Orange Is the New Black Season 7
The beloved Netflix series did not shy away from showing the conditions and heartbreak brought to detained undocumented immigrants through Blanca's experiences on the immigrant detention center. The at-times harrowing experience begun after fan-favorite character Maritza (Diane Guerrero) was detained for not having her I.D. at a club and she reunited with Blanca as she tried to clear the misunderstanding and be once again set free.
While Blanca had already lost hope on leaving the center, Maritza's determination and company helped her get out of bed and try hard to gain her freedom. At her first court appearance, she followed the example of another detainee who managed to get her deportation postponed after appealing to the law. Blanca followed suit, asking the court to let her have time to find proper representation before being ordered out of the country.
In flashbacks, it was revealed that Blanca was a legal resident with a green card, but her taking the deal for organizing the riot at Litchfield unknowingly revoked her resident status, leaving room for her to be deported.
The scenes also showed that her fiancé Diablo (Miguel Izaguirre) eventually visited her at the center, but that caused him to also be detained and deported once he arrived without the proper documentation to the center.
After Maritza's mother revealed the character was not born in the U.S., the show featured Maritza losing her court proceedings, not having the example Blanca followed to postpone, and then saw as she was put on a plane back to a country she only lived in as a baby. The immigration storyline also hit a heartbreaking moment when the show gave a glimpse at the separated children in the center, having to represent themselves in their deportation hearings without a lawyer, or their parents present.
At the ICE center, Blanca and her new friend Karla (Karina Arroyave) work to build cases for them to stay. Unfortunately the judge does not see Karla's case and orders her to be sent back to her home country, leaving her children behind. Blanca, however, is able to think quickly and makes a compelling argument about her criminal conviction unknowingly messing with her immigration status, which allows her to stay in the U.S. and be released from custody.
The series finale gives Blanca a happy ending when it shows that instead of staying in the U.S. alone, she went to Diablo's country of origin and finally reunited with the love of her life.
Gómez opened up about her character's storyline ahead of the premiere, telling PopCulture.com it was a privilege to show reality through Blanca's experience in the center.
"This is really happening for people and as painful as it was for the audience to see this, and as difficult it was for us to portray it, I always think ... but people are actually living through this," she told PopCulture.com.
All episodes of Orange Is the New Black are currently streaming on Netflix.