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

Mitt Romney, the son of a chihuahuense?

Buried at the bottom of an Associated Press story that ran in the El Paso Times today is a nugget that Latino tweeters have been seizing on: Mitt Romney's dad was from Chihuahua.

California's latest private immigrant detention center

As California grapples with how to reduce its prison population, there is one group of inmates that keeps expanding: federal immigration detainees, a growing number of then held by private jailers.

In the news this morning: Migrants missing off Tunisia, Georgia immigration law challenged, immigrant detention in Adelanto, CA and more

More than 200 immigrants missing off Tunisia coast - The Associated Press At least 200 are reported to be missing and two are dead after a fishing boat carrying hundreds of immigrants that set off from Libya sank off the coast of Tunisia in a storm.

Latinos and population growth: Five interesting tidbits

News about the nation's growing Latino population has been rolling out almost continuously since the results of the 2010 Census were announced late last year.

How to curb illegal hiring? Mimic some characteristics of illegal immigration

A new report from the Migration Policy Institute that was funded by the European Union addresses the never-ending quandary over unauthorized workers, as much of an issue in Europe as it is in the United States.

In the news this morning: Secure Communities in NY and SF, the 'Tequila Party,' a Latino majority in many cities, Russell Pearce recall, mor

Cuomo To Pull New York Out Of Secure Communities Program - NY1 Governor Andrew Cuomo will at least temporarily pull New York out of the federal Secure Communities immigration enforcement program pending a review.

Can chicharrones be at all good for you?

If you're on a low-carb diet, perhaps. I never thought I'd see chicharrones marketed as a diet-friendly, low-carb food, but indeed, fried hog skin turns out to be carbohydrate-free.

Opting out of Secure Communities? Not so fast, ICE official says

The California Assembly voted last week to approve a bill that seeks to extricate the state from Secure Communities, a federal immigration enforcement program in which the fingerprints of people who land in local jails are checked against a database of immigration records.

Four things to know about immigrants in the military

A post yesterday told the story of the late Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta, whose name has come up in recent weeks after one Southern California legislator suggested a U.S. Navy ship be named for him.

In the news this morning: Calif. Secure Communities bill advances, Latinos and gay marriage, refugees continue to flee Libya, more

Immigration legislation: California lawmakers weigh opting out of federal immigration enforcement program - Los Angeles Times A bill that would allow California and local jurisdictions to opt out of the controversial Secure Communities immigration enforcement program passed the Assembly late last week, and moves forward to the Senate.

Marine, hero, immigrant: Remembering Sgt. Rafael Peralta

During a recent controversy over the naming of a U.S. Navy ship for labor leader and civil rights hero Cesar Chavez, the name of a lesser-known hero was brought up, that of Marine Corps Sgt.

Five ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: The meat edition

Last week, Multi-American delved once more into that culinary landscape where some diners fear to tread, the territory of the unsung ethnic delicacy.

The California Dream Act, part two: What it entails

Earlier this month, the California state Assembly approved one of two bills referred to as the California Dream Act. While neither proposes legal status for undocumented students, as does the similarly named federal proposal, both aim to make it easier for them to pay for college.

What does a Latin jazz protest sound like?

What does it sound like when some of Los Angeles' best-known Latin jazz musicians, upset over plans to exclude their category from the Grammy Awards, pick up their instruments to stage a musical protest? For starters, expect a nice horn rendition of "Sabor a Mí.

In the news this morning: California Dream Act bill up for vote, 'extraordinary rendition' case, a proposal to legalize military families, m

Dream Act could provide public funds for college - Fresno Bee Members of the state Assembly will vote Friday on a bill that could fling open the doors to higher education for undocumented students by offering them public money for college.