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

A Dodger fan on 'the atmosphere' at the stadium, thugs, and the Bryan Stow attack

An insightful comment came in this afternoon in response to the racial tension that's surrounded the attack on opening day at Dodger Stadium of Bryan Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan from Santa Cruz.

Hate speech over Dodger Stadium attack illustrates the racial tension surrounding it

The "uncomfortable racial undercurrent" I mentioned in a post Friday on the discussion surrounding the severe beating of a white San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium opening night, by two men described as Latino, has not become any more comfortable over the weekend.

Is 'coming out' undocumented becoming less risky?

A couple of posts last month addressed a strategy that a growing number of undocumented youths have embraced as they campaign for legalization, revealing their immigration status as a political act.

In the news this morning: France burqa ban, Latino population growth and the GOP, 'LA Plaza' in LA, no arrests in Sikh shooting, more

France's Burqa Ban Adds To Anti-Muslim Climate - NPR A law banning the public use of veils covering the face, as worn by Muslim women, goes into effect in France today.

Five awkward language moments

In a post earlier this week, I described what can best be called being haunted by the ESL ghost. I learned English in kindergarten and have no discernible accent, no trace of my native Spanish in my otherwise very American-sounding speech.

Race and the Dodger Stadium attack

A couple of days ago I came across an essay that got at the heart of the uncomfortable racial undercurrent running through the discussion of last week's senseless beating of a San Francisco Giants fan by two men at Dodger Stadium on opening night.

Francisco Castañeda's testimony helped spur ICE detention overhaul

Yesterday the federal government agreed to pay $1.95 million to the family of Francisco Castañeda, a man who died more than three years ago from penile cancer that went untreated while he was in immigrant detention, first in San Diego and later in San Pedro.

In the news this morning: An L.A. family story, a refugee's food fusion truck, damages to be paid for detainee's cancer death, more

Hector Tobar: The Chavira family rode west to a new life in Los Angeles - Los Angeles Times The story of a Mexican American family that arrived "during an optimistic age when suburbs were built and freeways carved through the city.

Speed dating and sponsors: Latino bloggers 2.0

I wasn't sure what to expect this afternoon when I stopped by a conference in Hollywood dubbed Hispanicize 2011, a three-day affair billed as a "public relations and social media conference.

In Hollywood today for 'Hispanicize'

Why am I posting a map of the island of Hispaniola? Because today I'll be checking out the Hispanicize 2011 social media and public relations conference in Hollywood, which began yesterday.

In the news this morning: Aftermath of new Japan quake, nonwhite youth population drops in L.A, backlogged immigration courts, more

Japan lifts tsunami alert, but says power cut at one nuke plant - USA Today Today's magnitude 7.4 earthquake hit at roughly the same location and depth as the magnitude 9 earthquake March 11.

Introducing the cultural mashup dictionary: Our first term, 1.5 generation

Just like Southern California’s culture is shaped by immigrants and their descendants, so is its language. There is an evolving lexicon of words, terms and phrases coined here and elsewhere in the U.

The gripping tale of a garment industry slave

Human trafficking into the United States is often associated in the public consciousness with the sex industry, and for good reason. But the trafficking of workers, including factory workers in the garment and food processing industries, is also relatively commonplace.

In the news this morning: Census lawsuit, more minority children, another anti-birthright citizenship bill, Dream Act protest, more

Group sues over census: Mexican-American caucus says count missed Hispanics - El Paso Times A group of Latino lawmakers in has filed suit in Texas, alleging an undercount of the state's Latino population, particularly those who live in colonias along the border.

The hunt for Red Tapatío Chips, concluded

So the hunt for Tapatío hot sauce flavored Doritos that I embarked on last week has come to a happy conclusion. Over the past few days, several gracious readers shared chip-sighting locations that ranged from a gas station in Los Feliz to the Superior supermarket in Lynwood.