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

In the news this morning: A request to hold off on deporting youths, SB 1070 a year later, L.A. musician left comatose won't be deported, mo

Senate Democrats Tell Obama to Hold Off on Deportations of Young Immigrants - Fox News Latino Twenty-two Senate Democrats have signed a letter requesting that the deportations of young people brought here by their parents illegally or who overstayed visas be put off, suggesting alternatives.

'Be Italian?' No, be a Mexican (Video)

I'll confess that I've never seen the film or stage versions of "Nine," so I had no idea what "Be Italian" sounded like when a colleague sent me this video of a local singer who tweaked the lyrics.

KPCC joins Japan quake relief effort this weekend

More than a month after a magnitude 9 earthquake and the resulting tsunami devastated northeastern Japan, international relief efforts continue to build, and for good reason. At least 150,000 remain homeless, many of the estimated 28,000 people who perished are still unaccounted for, millions are without water or power, and an ailing nuclear plant continues to be a threat.

Emails illustrate 'disarray,' confusion over Secure Communities immigration program

Hundreds of emails from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released yesterday illustrate the confusion over Secure Communities, a federal fingerprint sharing program whose involuntary nature has frustrated local law enforcement in some jurisdictions, including in California.

In the news this morning: New Arizona-style law in Georgia, LA Plaza opens in L.A, a birther bill, Latinos and redistricting, more

Georgia immigration law: Georgia passes immigration bill similar to Arizona's - Los Angeles Times Police would be empowered to check the immigration status of "criminal" suspects and many businesses would be required to check the status of potential hires.

'Why do you only date white men?' An interracial dater explains

Please give a warm welcome to KPCC's Kim Bui, editor of the OnCentral blog and Multi-American guest blogger of the day:

Pik-sa, pisa or pizza?

A reader responding to a recent collection of awkward language moments experienced by English learners, or people who were raised by them, has shared a good one: "pik-sa," better known as pizza.

Bogus 'army unit' a reminder of how far immigrants are willing go for citizenship

The story of David Deng, a Chinese immigrant from El Monte accused of charging fellow Chinese immigrants upwards of $400 to join a bogus "special forces" military unit that could lead them to U.

In the news this morning: Nacho Cheese tacos, L.A. May Day march, a more diverse Harvard, lawsuit over detained LGBT immigrants, more

Ouch, Our Arteries: Taco Bell Tests Shell Made of Nacho Cheese Doritos - TIME Dusty cheesy flavor-blasted taco shells? Please, Taco Bell, say it isn't so.

Do we live in the nation's most diverse city? It depends.

As it promotes its special quarterly issue highlighting Los Angeles, the magazine GOOD recently posted an interesting short piece that examines how diversity is measured - and where, depending on the metrics, Los Angeles places among other large U.

'The right to choose how we dress:' American Muslim women speak out on French burqa ban

On Monday, France implemented a controversial ban on the face-covering veils worn by some Muslim women, which are referred to there as burqa or niqab. Women who continue to wear the veils are subject to steep fines if cited.

In the news this morning: A fake 'army unit' citizenship swindle, the Muslim veil debate, Latino kids and exercise, more

Man falsely promotes US citizenship through 'special' army unit, prosecutors say - 89.3 KPCC Yupeng David Deng of El Monte allegedly charged Chinese immigrants to join a phony military unit, promising it would lead to U.

The cultural mashup dictionary: Googlear

Thank you, News Taco, for calling to mind a term that merits a place in the evolving cultural mashup dictionary: Googlear.

Whatever comes of SB 1070, the law has left its mark on immigration politics

The Arizona law that became one of last year's biggest immigration stories has been shot down in federal appeals court, at least for now. Yesterday, a judge in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court judge's decision from last summer to block several of the most controversial components of SB 1070, among them a provision empowering local police to check for immigration status given "reasonable suspicion" that someone may be in the country illegally.

Readers respond: Has 'coming out' undocumented become less risky?

A post yesterday on the trend among young, undocumented student activists and their supporters of revealing their immigration status, done as a political act, has drawn some interesting comments.