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

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.

The forgotten history of the Filipino laborers who worked with Cesar Chavez

For those closely related to the farm labor movement of the 1960s and 70s, the story of Asian American farm workers and the extent to which these workers were involved in the movement is fairly common knowledge.

American snapshot: Santa Ana

My daughter, the astronaut. Spotted at Libreria Martinez, a bookstore and art gallery.

In the news this morning: Minorities and political influence, a dangerous crossing from North Africa, in the fields on Cesar Chavez Day, mor

America's New Electorate - The Atlantic How the growth of minority populations can reshape the political landscape in the U.S.

On the trail of the Tapatío Doritos

Last week, I came across a Facebook update from a friend with a photo that made my heart skip a beat. It was a small photo of a bag of Doritos, on the front a familiar and revered image: The smiling man in the sombrero from the label of the Tapatío hot sauce bottle.