Leslie Berestein Rojas

Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter

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

'Everyone in L.A. is an immigrant': The Los Angeles of noir novelist Denise Hamilton

A post last week featured an excerpt from the latest novel by Denise Hamilton, a Los Angeles mystery writer who since her acclaimed first novel a decade ago has used the city's immigrant enclaves as the backdrop for her twisting noir plots.

Report: Two years after overhaul plans were announced, most immigrant detainees still in 'jail-like' facilities

A report from the international human rights advocacy group Human Rights First examines the conditions in U.S. immigrant detention centers, two years after Homeland Security officials announced there would be a major overhaul of the detention system.

Will the California Dream Act become law? Readers' reactions

A post earlier this week addressing whether or not California Gov. Jerry Brown will sign a bill making up part of what's known as the California Dream Act has generated a very long string of comments, an example of how divisive the debate over the bill has become.

In the news this morning: Alabama ag director looks to inmates, airline sued over hijab discrimination, 'John and Ken' boycott, more

Ala.: Inmates can replace Hispanic farmhands - Politico The head of Alabama's agriculture department is looking to inmate labor as "a short-term solution to the sudden labor shortage that has hit Alabama since enforcement of its illegal immigration law kicked in.

Roasted corn, the Mediterranean shore - what takes you back?

A conversation thread that began with a post last weekend, about a young Salvadoran immigrant reminiscing of the chickens and chicken soup back home, continues to draw out memories from readers.

Tweet of the moment: 'The wrong Syrian died yesterday'

Okay, so it's one of many, many tweets of the moment mourning the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs, who died yesterday of complications from pancreatic cancer. In recent months it was reported that Jobs, who was adopted, was the biological son of a Syrian immigrant.

Report: First and second generation to be a third of U.S. population by 2040

A report released today by the University of Southern California that projects the growth of immigrant generations in the United States has the second-generation children of immigrants poised to make up a larger share of the overall U.

A reporter's take on another common immigration misperception

I've been enjoying the way in which New York Times reporter Damien Cave has been addressing readers' questions in response to a recent story on illegal immigration and deportees returning to the U.

In the news this morning: Alabama's 'humanitarian crisis,' Arabs embrace Steve Jobs, maritime smuggling deaths, more

Is Alabama immigration law creating a 'humanitarian crisis'? - Christian Science Monitor With what's considered to be the nation's strictest state immigration law now in effect, it's estimated that some 2,000 Latino students didn't attend school Monday.

Human smuggling by sea: A dangerous trend grows deadlier

UPDATED: Of the two deaths, one was related to a boat smuggling attempt, the other to an attempt to swim north around the border fence. It was originally reported that both were related to boat incidents.

When referring to race, should 'black' and 'white' be capitalized?

Multi-American's sister blog DCentric out of WAMU in Washington, D.C. has delved into a compelling discussion: When referring to race, should "black" and "white" be capitalized?

Will Jerry Brown sign the California Dream Act's AB 131?

California Gov. Jerry Brown has just four days left to sign or veto a bill known as AB 131, part of what's called the California Dream Act, before a bill-signing deadline.

On college campuses, 'foreign' languages aren't so foreign anymore

Inside Higher Ed has a piece this morning on how around the United States, several colleges and universities are dropping the word "foreign" from their language departments.

In the news this morning: Napolitano promotes enforcement strategy, John and Ken vs. immigration advocates, AL law in schools, more

Napolitano to promote DHS work on immigration - The Associated Press Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is delivering a speech today at American University in Washington D.

The smell of jasmine, a bowl of ph? - what takes you back?

A post from a few days ago about my conversation with a young Salvadoran immigrant and his memories of the chickens back home - and of El Salvador's beloved chicken soup - has led to a string of memories from readers.