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

Secrets of the Latin American supermarket

Last week, Multi-American kicked off a series of informal guides to the ethnic supermarket, the mega-bodegas of all flavors that have become part of the regional landscape as Southern California’s immigrant enclaves have grown and evolved.

American snapshot: Chinatown

Almond cookies, tres leches cake y café under one roof at a multilingual bakery on Cesar Chavez Boulevard, at the southern edge of Chinatown.

The odd journey of the 'Smuggle Truck,' from border to zoo

It has been a long, strange trip for "Smuggle Truck," the proposed human smuggling-themed game featuring a truck full of smuggled migrants bouncing through the wilderness, with the goal of players to keep the human cargo from being thrown off.

In the news this morning: More grim discoveries in Tamaulipas, Apple rejects immigration-themed game, 'birther' Donald Trump, more

Body count from Mexican mass graves nears 300 - Reuters The search for victims in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas continues. Many of the dead are believed to be migrant workers who refused to cooperate with drug smugglers.

Immigration, foreignness and the 'birther' debate

In John F. Kennedy's day, it was the anti-Catholics who dogged the Irish American presidential candidate, raising fears that having a Catholic descendant of immigrants in the White House could mean a United States under the influence of the Vatican and a compromise of the firewall between church and state.

Mixed name, mixed child: A biracial father reflects upon naming his newborn

A few posts in the past weeks have discussed interracial relationships, drawing several comments from readers who shared their thoughts and personal stories.

Latino, Asian voters still lag in turnout in spite of numbers

A report released yesterday by the Pew Hispanic Center on the Latino electorate in 2010 led to very different headlines as news outlets reported the results, and for good reason.

In the news this morning: Student deportations under review, SB 1070 anniversary, Obama's long-form birth certificate released, more

Deportation of Illegal Immigrants Under Review - New York Times Pressure has been on the Obama administration to offer protection from deportation to undocumented college students who might have been eligible for legal status under the Dream Act.

For children of immigrants, can family trump opportunity?

An intriguing post on the Being Latino website today points out, if unscientifically, the tug-of-war between family and career that pulls at some young Latinos - and which I suspect pulls at other children of immigrants, too.

What is the TRUST Act? The bill that would make Secure Communities optional in California

A California state bill heard in Sacramento today that challenges the embattled federal immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities has cleared a public safety committee vote.

In the news this morning: Secure Communities controversy, Florida immigrants rally, grim discoveries continue in Tamaulipas, more

Janet Napolitano clarifies immigration program - San Francisco Chronicle Amid controversy over misleading e-mails and a California opt-out bill, the Homeland Security chief has reiterated that local governments cannot decide on their own to "exclude themselves" from the Secure Communities fingerprint-sharing program.

'A crime to dream the American dream?' Reaction to 'Dreamers' and their support network

A post from last Friday detailing how undocumented youths have been using social media to build a support network - and in some cases, to fight deportation - was  widely circulated over the weekend.

Five things to read on the one-year anniversary of SB 1070

A year ago Saturday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law the controversial measure known as SB 1070. Among other things, this stringent anti-illegal immigration law was to empower local police to check the immigration status of people they stopped if there was "reasonable suspicion" to believe they were in the country illegally, make it necessary for immigrants to carry their documents, and made it difficult to hire or work as a day laborer.

The cultural mashup dictionary: Twittear and Feisbuk

A recent post on the neologism Googlear has inspired two related entries to Multi-American's evolving cultural mashup dictionary: The social media mashup terms Twittear and Feisbuk.

In the news this morning: A year of SB 1070, Secure Communities controversy continues, O.C. solidarity protest for Syria, more

SB1070 one year later: Debate rages on - KTAR.com Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration law was signed into law April 23 of last year. The state remains bitterly divided over the measure, which is tied up in the courts with its major provisions not yet in effect.