Leslie Berestein Rojas Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter

Leslie Berestein-Rojas
Contact Leslie Berestein Rojas

Leslie Berestein Rojas is KPCC's Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter.

An award-winning journalist with several years’ experience reporting on immigration issues, Berestein Rojas most recently covered immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border for the San Diego Union-Tribune. She has retraced the steps of migrants along desert smuggling trails, investigated immigrant detention contractors, and told the stories of families left behind in Mexico’s migrant-sending towns.

A native of Cuba raised in Los Angeles, Leslie has also written for Time, People, the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times. She has reported from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.


Stories by Leslie Berestein Rojas

Debate over immigration program heats up after San Francisco shooting

A new federal program seeks to deport immigrants only if they are convicted of crimes, but the plan is drawing heat from both sides of the immigration debate.

In LA's 'Tehrangeles,' mixed feelings about proposed US-Iran accord

Many are cautiously optimistic about easing sanctions, but say they don't trust the Iranian government.

Greek economic crisis could bring a wave of new migrants

The Greek diaspora in the U.S. dates back generations. One local organization says it's been overwhelmed lately with pleas from Greek workers who want to move to L.A.

New Filipino English words added to Oxford dictionary

Oxford is adding more "world English" to its pages, giving a nod to terms like "balikbayan," "comfort room" and "carnap" this year. Read on for definitions.

City of LA unveils its plan to patrol wage theft

A proposed "Office of Labor Standards" would employ five people and could grow to 39. The city could spend about $2 million publicizing the program to low-wage workers.

Enforcing local minimum wage in 'epicenter' of wage theft

Wage theft is common in some local industries - and hard to root out. Los Angeles will have to start it's own unit if if wants to enforce it's higher minimum wage.

Boyle Heights: 'As American as we want and as Mexican as we want'

Children and grandchildren of Mexican immigrants are opening funky new stores in Boyle Heights. They see the changes not as gentrification, but rather evolution.

Fitness trainers brace for new fees to use LA parks, beaches

L.A. officials are weighing an ordinance that would force fitness instructors who operate at city parks and beaches to obtain permits, hold insurance and pay fees.

What LA's proposed crackdown on beach and park vendors means

City officials want to crack down on unlicensed services like fitness bootcamps, who do business in L.A. parks. Pushcart vendors would be subject to the same sanctions.

How cities around LA have legalized street vending

Leaders in L.A. have long considered legalizing street vending but have yet to pass an ordinance. Pasadena and Santa Ana have had limited policies for years.

Feds investigating SoCal Edison staffing contractors

The Department of Labor is looking into alleged work visa abuse involving two companies used by Southern California Edison to hire foreign workers.

How will LA's wage hike affect immigrant workers?

Next summer, the city's minimum wage will rise to $10.50 per hour, and it will reach $15 in 2020. Some workers say it'll lift them up. Others worry they'll be laid off.

Feds respond to CA lawmaker's call to investigate Edison

Congresswoman Judy Chu has asked the government to investigate Edison's decision to lay off tech workers and replace them foreign workers who hold visas.

Proposed state law would help LA enforce new minimum wage

The bill would make it harder for employers to dodge paying back pay to workers who win a wage-theft case. It still must get approval from the state Assembly.

LA resumes debate on legalized street vending

A city-sponsored public hearing brought out street vendors and those who oppose the idea of legalizing the industry in Los Angeles.