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

American snapshot: Lynwood

Inspired by the summer heat or the Fourth of July?

Who had to wait longest for an immigrant visa this month?

Who has had to wait the longest to come legally to the U.S. as an immigrant this month? As it's been in recent months, it's hopeful immigrants from the Philippines, people being sponsored by their siblings who filed their paperwork back in 1988.

In the news this morning: Language clash over store signs, Georgia's new immigration law, rise in Latino UC students, more

Sign of the times: Proposal to rewrite NYC store signs in English sparks culture clash - The Washington Post Two city council members are drafting legislation that would require store signs in in Flushing, Queens to be primarily in English.

The new American barbecue: Carne asada, galbi, lula kebab y más

In Los Angeles, the aroma that wafts from backyard barbecues on the Fourth of July varies slightly depending on the neighborhood one finds oneself in.

Hand-drawn map illustrates a starkly divided L.A.

A city that's perceived by some as multi-culti heaven is a starkly segregated place for many Angelenos, and this map serves as a reminder of that.

In the news this morning: Georgia immigration law kicks in, same-sex partner's deportation stopped, the 'Irvine 11' case, more

Tough Immigration Regulations In Effect In Georgia And South Carolina - Talking Points Memo A federal judge has temporarily blocked parts of a strict new Georgia new immigration law, but the rest goes into effect today, including one provision that would penalize people using a fake ID to get a job.

'Army unit' scheme a reminder of the military's pull for non-citizens

In case any sort of reminder was needed of how desperate many immigrants are for U.S. citizenship, one came yesterday in the sentencing of Yupeng "David" Deng, a Chinese immigrant from El Monte accused of charging fellow immigrants upwards of $400 to join a bogus “special forces” military unit that he told them would provide a path to citizenship.

And now, the frozen Korean 'street' taco

By the time an item titled "Korean BBQ Steak Tacos" appeared on the menu at California Pizza Kitchen last year, the defining edible metaphor for 2010s-era Los Angeles had taken a considerable journey.

'America...it takes all kinds:' Author Simon Winchester on becoming a U.S. citizen

The immigrant experiences shared in these digital pages are most often those of people whose families came to this country seeking better economic opportunities, freedom from hunger, freedom from oppression, an escape from war, or all of the above.

In the news this morning: Immigrant rights groups sue Sheriff Baca, Obama on E-Verify, Dream Act demonstrations, more

Immigrants rights groups sue LA County sheriff Baca - 89.3 KPCC Immigrant advocacy groups are suing Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca to force him to hand over information about the department's cooperation with federal immigration authorities, who operate Secure Communities and other programs in county jails aimed at identifying undocumented immigrants.

Q&A: OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano on Mexican food, yellow cheese and 'Bro-Mex'

The OC Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano knows a thing or two about Mexican food, and not just the traditional stuff that is actually found in Mexico. In his by now legendary “¡Ask a Mexican!” column, Arellano routinely fielded inquiries like “I always wondered why Mexican restaurants en los Estados Unidos use queso amarillo (yellow cheese) on their food.

Quote of the moment: The student 'most likely to save the world' on status and studies

College students and graduates campaigning for passage of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, heard yesterday in a Senate subcommittee, staged a mock graduation ceremony this morning in Washington, D.

In the news this morning: Dream Act hearing, immigration and demographics, opting out of Secure Communities, more

Senate holds first hearing on DREAM Act - UPI Report on yesterday's first hearing on a new version of the federal immigration bill, in which key White House officials focused on economic and national security issues.

Readers on interracial dating and parents' rules

A post yesterday highlighted author Diane Farr's new memoir about interracial romance titled “Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After,” and her accompanying recent essay for the New York Times about the early days of her relationship with her Korean American husband.

With Dream Act a tough sell, ICE prosecutorial discretion memo will be put to test

A recently reintroduced Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act received its first Senate hearing this morning, in a chamber packed with young undocumented immigrants who stand to benefit from a bill that proposes granting conditional legal status to young people who arrived in the U.