Leslie Berestein Rojas

Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter

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

Life in a mixed-status family: 'Frustration, uncertainty, secrecy, lies'

A series of posts that began in August, prompted by the arrest and detention of President Obama's undocumented half-uncle, has explored the prevalence of mixed-status families. These are families composed of a blend of U.

Report: Secure Communities affects U.S. citizens, too

A new report examining Secure Communities, the immigration enforcement program partly responsible for the Obama administration's record number of deportations, reveals some of the demographics, immigration status, and other key details about who has been arrested and deported under the program since it began rolling out in 2008.

In the news this morning: Another year of record deportations, Secure Communities and Latinos, immigration in the GOP debate, more

Latinos Said to Bear Weight of a Deportation Program - New York Times A new report finds that Latinos are disproportionately affected by the Secure Communities immigration enforcement program, and that of the roughly 226,000 immigrants who have been deported under it, about a third have spouses or children who are United States citizens.

An ode to El Torito and 'the Cal-Mex combo'

Will anyone miss the El Torito restaurant chain, whose parent company has declared bankruptcy? Some will. In case you missed it, the OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano wrote a touching ode in Sunday's Los Angeles Times to the purveyors of that cuisine referred as Cal-Mex, otherwise known as the sour cream-topped, yellow cheese-smothered, semi-Mexican combo plate.

ICE announces another record year for deportations

Federal deportation numbers are out for fiscal year 2011, which ended Sept. 30.

Frontline examines immigrant detention in 'Lost in Detention' (Video)

What happened to immigrants held in the nation's spreading network of detention facilities began getting on the radar toward the end of the last decade, when reports of overcrowding, shoddy health care and detainee deaths began surfacing as a series of lawsuits hit the federal courts.

Busting 'the myth of chain migration'

How long does it take to bring a relative legally to the United States? Sometimes decades, as we illustrate each month on this site in a regular feature on who has been waiting the longest.

In the news this morning: Obama's immigration policies protested, Alabama's lack of workers, anti-Latino hate crimes rise, more

Latinos to protest Obama's immigration policies - CNN Activists are planning a national "day of action" in 10 cities to protest President Obama's immigration enforcement policies and demand an end to the controversial Secure Communities fingerprint sharing program.

More from Latino voters: jobs and immigration top concerns, low awareness of GOP candidates

Last week, the results of a national poll of Latino voters focused on their attitudes toward health care policy, with a majority in favor of keeping the Affordable Care Act in general, but not in favor of being required to purchase their own insurance, one of the law's provisions.

A non-fan of shark fin soup on why the ban still rubs her the wrong way

It's been more than a week since California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that prohibits the sale of shark fins, the primary ingredient in traditional Chinese shark fin soup.

An undocumented Pacific Islander shares her story and others'

For a story on the Tongan community in Los Angeles County's South Bay, KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez interviewed a young woman named Fita, who arrived in the United States four years ago to study at El Camino College in Torrance.

In the news this morning: Parts of Alabama law blocked, diversity and the 'Occupy' movement, CA law prohibits forced E-Verify use, more

Parts of Alabama immigration law blocked by federal appeals court - CNN Among the provisions of the new state law blocked by an appeals court Friday is one requiring schools to check students' immigration status.

As violence mounts back home, are Egyptian Americans losing hope?

At the beginning of this year, as the protests in Egypt that eventually led to the toppling of president Hosni Mubarak were heating up, there were many Coptic Christian Egyptians in Egypt and abroad who were apprehensive, less confident about what might happen in Mubarak's absence than the majority of those in the crowds rallying in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

American snapshot: Lawndale

A pumpkin piñata gets cozy with a cupcake outside a piñata shop promoting its seasonal wares on Lawndale's Marine Avenue. The small South Bay city is more than 60 percent Latino; Asian and African American residents together make up about 20 percent of the population.

Latino voters say yes to health care reform, no to mandatory insurance

What do Latino voters think of the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law's provisions and whether it should be repealed? As it often goes, their opinions are mixed.