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

Do we live in the nation's most diverse city? It depends.

As it promotes its special quarterly issue highlighting Los Angeles, the magazine GOOD recently posted an interesting short piece that examines how diversity is measured - and where, depending on the metrics, Los Angeles places among other large U.

'The right to choose how we dress:' American Muslim women speak out on French burqa ban

On Monday, France implemented a controversial ban on the face-covering veils worn by some Muslim women, which are referred to there as burqa or niqab. Women who continue to wear the veils are subject to steep fines if cited.

In the news this morning: A fake 'army unit' citizenship swindle, the Muslim veil debate, Latino kids and exercise, more

Man falsely promotes US citizenship through 'special' army unit, prosecutors say - 89.3 KPCC Yupeng David Deng of El Monte allegedly charged Chinese immigrants to join a phony military unit, promising it would lead to U.

The cultural mashup dictionary: Googlear

Thank you, News Taco, for calling to mind a term that merits a place in the evolving cultural mashup dictionary: Googlear.

Whatever comes of SB 1070, the law has left its mark on immigration politics

The Arizona law that became one of last year's biggest immigration stories has been shot down in federal appeals court, at least for now. Yesterday, a judge in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court judge's decision from last summer to block several of the most controversial components of SB 1070, among them a provision empowering local police to check for immigration status given "reasonable suspicion" that someone may be in the country illegally.

Readers respond: Has 'coming out' undocumented become less risky?

A post yesterday on the trend among young, undocumented student activists and their supporters of revealing their immigration status, done as a political act, has drawn some interesting comments.

In the news this morning: Appeals court rules against Arizona in SB 1070 case, French burqa ban, Utah immigration compact, more

Ninth Circuit Court Rules Against Arizona Immigration Law - New York Times The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Arizona, letting stand a lower court decision that last year blocked the most contentious parts of the state’s anti-illegal immigration law, SB 1070.

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.