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

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.

What is your most awkward language moment?

It's been well documented by now that growing up bilingual can be good for you. But getting there? Survivors of an English-learner upbringing can attest that it's not always an easy road, and that the bumps along it - some amusing, some awkward - continue well into adulthood.

Is coming to America bad for your mental health?

A new report from a mental health study of Mexican immigrants has found that immigrants to the United States face more than four times the risk of depression as those who don't immigrate, and that in general, coming to the U.

In the news this morning: Dream Act return in the works, multiethnic support for Japan, News Corp. goes after Latinos, benefits of bilingual

Sen. Durbin Is Set To Revive DREAM Act Fight in This Congress - ColorLines The office of Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin has confirmed plans to reintroduce the bill this session.

Video: Arab voices in L.A.

KPCC's Grant Slater and Corey Bridwell interviewed Libyan and Syrian American protesters at a solidarity rally this weekend in West Los Angeles, where people said they had been watching the turmoil back home with a mix of hope and apprehension, fearing for friends and loved ones.

Black or mixed race? Obama's census choice sparks debate over how people identify

More than a hundred comments have been posted so far in reaction to an interesting opinion piece today from the Los Angeles Times' Gregory Rodriguez on how "the most famous mixed-race person in the world," President Obama, identified himself racially on his census form last year.

Who has to wait the longest for a green card?

A common question that comes up when discussing immigration, legal and illegal, is why it is more people don't get "in line" for a green card. There is a line, indeed, for people who have immediate relatives in the United States and whose families have the resources to sponsor them.

In the news this morning: Border security questions, shark fin soup, migration from North Africa, detention centers and assault, more

Disparity in border security under review - USA Today As illegal immigration debate has intensified in recent years, the federal government's response has been additional border security, putting additional Border Patrol agents and National Guard troops to work along the southwest border.

A stream of consciousness ode to Tapatío sauce, revisited

Before the weekend begins, I'm reposting this too-good-to-miss nugget from a post yesterday. In a piece about hunting for Tapatío hot sauce-flavored Doritos, I included a wonderful, if hard to follow, ode to Tapatío sauce that I came across in an “I Love Tapatío Hot Sauce” section on Experienceproject.