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

Human smuggling by sea: A dangerous trend grows deadlier

UPDATED: Of the two deaths, one was related to a boat smuggling attempt, the other to an attempt to swim north around the border fence. It was originally reported that both were related to boat incidents.

When referring to race, should 'black' and 'white' be capitalized?

Multi-American's sister blog DCentric out of WAMU in Washington, D.C. has delved into a compelling discussion: When referring to race, should "black" and "white" be capitalized?

Will Jerry Brown sign the California Dream Act's AB 131?

California Gov. Jerry Brown has just four days left to sign or veto a bill known as AB 131, part of what's called the California Dream Act, before a bill-signing deadline.

On college campuses, 'foreign' languages aren't so foreign anymore

Inside Higher Ed has a piece this morning on how around the United States, several colleges and universities are dropping the word "foreign" from their language departments.

In the news this morning: Napolitano promotes enforcement strategy, John and Ken vs. immigration advocates, AL law in schools, more

Napolitano to promote DHS work on immigration - The Associated Press Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is delivering a speech today at American University in Washington D.

The smell of jasmine, a bowl of ph? - what takes you back?

A post from a few days ago about my conversation with a young Salvadoran immigrant and his memories of the chickens back home - and of El Salvador's beloved chicken soup - has led to a string of memories from readers.

The multi-generational household is back, led by Asian and Latino families

What is a multi-generational household? It's when Abuela lives upstairs and helps take care of the kids, or when your parents take your unemployed brother back in, or any combination involving two or more adult generations under one roof.

A reporter on 'people should just wait and go legally' and other common immigration misperceptions

In an interesting follow-up to his Sunday piece in the New York Times on how more migrants crossing the border illegally from Mexico are returning to their families and lives in the United States, reporter Damien Cave offered a few insights on the misperceptions about immigration from Mexico found in his readers' comments.

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

It's already October, which means it's time to find out who endured the longest wait this month to come legally to the U.S. as an immigrant. And as has been the case in recent months, it's no surprise: Hopeful immigrants from the Philippines who are being sponsored by U.

What Latino voters really want to hear (hint: it's not all immigration, all the time)

Ad Age doesn't typically cover stories related to immigration, but today there's an interesting report based on an Advertising Week panel called "Will Latinos Elect Our Next President?" that had polling and marketing experts delving into what the real campaign issues for Latinos are.

In the news this morning: Immigrants begin leaving Alabama, nearly half of NYC business owners are foreign born, more

After Ruing, Hispanics Flee an Alabama Town - New York Times Immigrants from Latin America living in Alabama have been packing up and leaving the state since last week, after a federal judge upheld key parts of a new state anti-illegal immigration law deemed the nation's strictest.

The cross-cultural legacy of Doritos

It might seem to some who read this blog that I'm a fan of junk food. I'm not, really, unless it involves something doused in Tapatío sauce. But in recent days, after reading a series of obituaries for Archie West, the man credited with inventing Doritos, I've become fascinated with the chips' cultural legacy.

The Alabama ruling, SB 1070 and the Supreme Court: What's next?

As it begins its new term today, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to consider an appeal from the state of Arizona on SB 1070, the controversial 2010 anti-illegal immigration law that has since spurred copycat laws throughout the United States - but whose key provisions remain blocked by a federal judge's ruling in July of last year.

Why some Latinos become lawyers, and their lingering challenges

The journal of the American Bar Association has an interesting piece in its new issue on Latino lawyers and what pushed some of them into their field. While based on a study of Latino attorneys in Washington state, the piece profiles several attorneys as to their background, what drove them into law practice - often personal factors quite different from those experienced by their non-Latino peers - and addresses why some still feel they need to be "10 times better" than non-Latinos to be accepted.

In the news this morning: School absences tied to Alabama law, SB 1070 awaits Supreme Court review this term, deported border crossers, more

Ala. immigration law marked by Hispanic school absences – USA Today A strict new Alabama anti-illegal immigration law, key parts of which were recently upheld in court, has already prompted hundreds of children to be absent from school.