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

Understaffed immigration judges face rise of migrant cases

The nation's immigration courts face an unprecedented backlog of cases. Much of that strain falls on the judges, who ultimately decide who can stay and who cannot.

Voluntary return immigration settlement: What happens next?

A settlement between the American Civil Liberties Union and the Department of Homeland Security could allow some people who were voluntarily repatriated to Mexico to come back.

Follow a teen through the 'strange experience' of immigration court

According to a 2008 law designed to protect trafficking victims, minors under 18 from countries that don’t share a border with the U.S. must have an immigration hearing. For a 17-year-old named Yoel, court was an intimidating experience.

For kids facing a judge in immigration court, 'a strange experience'

The immigration court process can be daunting enough for adults, but it's especially so for children and teens.

In immigration news: Mexico to step up enforcement, executive action plans, immigrants and housing, more

The Mexican government reportedly plans to step up railway surveillance in hopes of deterring U.S.-bound Central American migrants. This and more.

In immigration news: California's Vietnamese immigrants, Peña Nieto talks reform, Emmys 'diversity' flap, more

According to a new report, 40 percent of the nearly 1.3 million Vietnamese immigrants in the United States live in California. This and more.

In immigration news: Executive action hopes, lawsuit over expedited deportations, migrant youth shelters, more

Now that President Obama has returned from vacation, advocates are hoping he'll soon take executive action on immigration. This and more.

In immigration news: Feds stop search for extra child shelter space, CA officials propose legal help for migrant kids, state immigration laws, more

The White House has reportedly abandoned its search for additional shelter space for unaccompanied minors, after the number of kids arriving at the border has declined. This and more.

Brown announces legislation to provide migrants kids with legal help

California state officials and lawmakers have introduced a plan that would provide money for pro-bono legal assistance to recently arrived unaccompanied child migrants.

In immigration news: Broader executive action, legal help for migrant kids, Central American migration and coffee, more

After meeting with business leaders, President Obama is reportedly contemplating immigration changes that go beyond relief from deportation. This and more.

In immigration news: Border shooting investigated, executive action and startups, danger for deported Honduran kids, more

U.S. officials are investigating a cross-border shooting that killed a teenage boy in Nogales, Mexico in 2012. This and more.

In immigration news: Executive action, a school for newcomers, Border Patrol shootings, more

Lawmakers, advocates, experts, lobbyists and business leaders hope to have a stake in what kind of executive action on immigration comes out of the White House. This and more.

Shelter in Ventura County closes as rush of child migrants slows

Two months after it opened, an emergency shelter for unaccompanied minors on a naval base in Port Hueneme has closed, at least for the time being.

In immigration news: White House talks with biz leaders, border militias, ag labor shortages, more

White House officials are reportedly in talks with business leaders that could affect what kind of executive action President Obama takes on immigration. This and more.

In immigration news: Two years of DACA, 'suspect' border shootings, detained child a US citizen, more

In the two years since the start of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, more than 560,000 young immigrants have obtained temporary legal status and work permits - and their lives have taken a very different path compared to peers who don't qualify. This and more.