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

'Tony & Janina,' the film that helped reverse a deportation

It's a rare case in which a deported immigrant is allowed to return, but this is what happened yesterday to Janina Wasilewski, a Polish immigrant who was deported four years ago, leaving her husband in Chicago and returning to Poland with their then 6-year-old U.

Why children of immigrants pitch in, even if it hurts our wallets

Photo by CarbonNYC/Flickr (Creative Commons)

In the news this morning: Deported woman returns, Secure Communities decision criticized, immigrant entrepreneurs, more

Polish family reunited at O'Hare - WGN-TV Chicago Four years after her deportation to Poland and after a lengthy appeal, Janina Wasilewski has returned to the United States with her young son to join her husband in Chicago.

American snapshot: Echo Park

A new age spiritual healing shop offering tarot and crystal readings sits next to a traditional botánica on a changing Sunset Boulevard. The community's demographics are shifting as it gentrifies, but it's comforting to know there's still a place for brujería.

Black and Latino degree holders earn less - why?

A report released last Friday by Georgetown University that correlates educational attainment and occupation with lifetime earnings contained an interesting if disturbing detail: Black and Latino degree holders earn less than their white and Asian counterparts.

Anthony Bourdain on the American Dream

A one-minute clip from HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher in which the celebrity chef/television star offers his perspective based on years in restaurant kitchens. Be sure to watch until the end.

In the news this morning: Secure Communities to go on without states' approval, a deportee returns, slavery allegations in NY, more

Immigration authority terminates Secure Communities agreements - The Washington Post U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton sent a letter to state governors Friday terminating the state agreements with the federal government “to avoid further confusion.

The letter from ICE terminating 'all existing' S-Comm agreements

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton sent a letter to governors today terminating all existing memorandums of understanding, or MOAs, with the agency regarding Secure Communities.

ICE rescinds Secure Communities MOAs, program continues

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has confirmed a conference call held earlier today regarding the future of the agency's embattled Secure Communities fingerprint-sharing program, which several state and local governments have announced plans to drop.

How immigrant families become middle class, and what gets in the way

Several reports lately have addressed minorities and wealth, and their increasing lack thereof in these hard economic times. Recent reports have shown minorities disproportionately losing their household wealth in the housing market collapse, and immigrants having a harder time moving up the economic ladder in the current crisis, which threatens a long tradition of upward mobility.

In the news this morning: NY minority youth plan draws fire, 16 countries oppose AL immigration law, new detention center debated, more

NYC program for young men draws praise, questions - The Wall Street Journal Mayor Michael Bloomberg's announcement of a $127 million project that aims to help about 315,000 black and Latino men between ages 16 and 24 is meeting with both praise and criticism.

On the media and Miles Morales, the brown Spider-Man

The killing off of Peter Parker by Marvel Comics and subsequent introduction this week of a new Spider-Man character named Miles Morales has provided ample fodder for media, especially after some fans began reacting negatively to the biracial Miles, who looks a bit like Tiger Woods.

What makes us more likely to marry outside our race?

Who is marrying whom? This was the question that sociologist Andrew Beveridge answered in a stellar graphic that ran earlier this year in the New York Times as part of a package on the emergence of an increasingly multiracial - though not post-racial - United States.

Why do well-off minorities live in poorer neighborhoods?

Earlier this week, outlets including USA Today and BET ran short pieces on a fascinating and troubling social dynamic: How affluent minorities tend to live in poorer neighborhoods than affluent whites.

In the news this morning: Bilingual parenting, minorities and the debt ceiling, backlash to a biracial Spider-Man, more

Bloomberg to Use Own Funds in Plan to Aid Minority Youth - The New York Times The New York mayor has announced plans to spend nearly $130 million on measures to improve the circumstances of young black and Latino men who are "cut off from New York’s civic, educational and economic life.