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

Quote of the moment: L.A. as 'the vanguard of a new definition of what makes us American'

A series of recent posts that began with the questions printed on the floor at a new Los Angeles museum has sparked a good conversation that I'd like to keep going.

In the news this morning: Fewer border crossings, employer immigration crackdown, proposed national Latino museum, more

Border crossings: Plunge in illegal crossers leaves agents fighting boredom - Los Angeles Times Border infrastructure that includes stadium lighting, triple fencing, and more border agents - plus the economic recession - are credited with a steep drop in illegal crossings along the southwest border since 2000.

Today's immigration segment on KPCC's Madeleine Brand Show (Audio)

This morning I appeared on KPCC's Madeleine Brand Show to provide a rundown of what's happening in immigration news, including the continuing activism of undocumented college students and graduates who would have been eligible for the Dream Act.

'Ecuadorean by birth, Mexican American by accident...and Angeleno by geographic location'

A post yesterday on the unexpected questions scattered around the new LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes museum in downtown Los Angeles - some of them printed on the floor - prompted a response from reader Diego Cardoso that resonated with me, as it might with other readers.

Video: Russia on Sunset Boulevard

In this video from KPCC's Grant Slater, filmmaker Robin Hessman discusses her film "My Perestroika," which tells the stories of five Russians who came of age during the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In the news this morning: The 'last-minute' D.C. immigration meeting, Sheriff Baca and L.A. Muslims, unauthorized workers and taxes, more

LA leaders at White House for immigration meeting - 89.3 KPCC Immigration reform, the topic of what was described as a “last-minute meeting” at the White House yesterday, hasn’t placed high on the list of Congressional priorities.

A White House immigration 'call to action,' but no breakthroughs

Early news reports have been describing President Obama's immigration meeting this afternoon with several dozen elected officials, law enforcement, business, civil rights, religious and other leaders, all invited to the White House to discuss the prospect of a broad overhaul of the nation's immigration system.

At LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, the questions are on the floor

Last weekend I paid a visit to LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, the new museum chronicling Mexican American history and life in Los Angeles that opened Saturday.

Navigating the Armenian American supermarket: Part 2

A post yesterday kicked off an occasional series of informal guides to navigating the ethnic supermarket, the mega-store grocery chains catering to immigrants that have become a part of Southern California's regional landscape as its immigrant communities have grown and evolved.

In the news this morning: No 'birther bill' in Arizona, minorities in special education, an immigration reform summit, more

'Birther bill' vetoed by Arizona governor - CNN Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill late yesterday that would have required President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates to prove they were born in the United States before their names could be placed on the state ballot.

The Pulitzer-winning reporter who could have been deported

A post in late March highlighted the story of Ruben Vives, a Los Angeles Times reporter who was once undocumented, brought here as a child from Guatemala by his mother.

Navigating the Armenian American supermarket

As Southern California's immigrant enclaves have grown and evolved, so have their grocery stores. The ethnic mega-supermarket is now part of the regional landscape, making it as easy to buy once hard-to-find products from around the world as it is to shop at Vons or Ralphs.

'Regulating freedom of choice:' Readers react to France's burqa ban

A Q&A post last week that highlighted the reactions of three prominent Muslim women in California to a controversial French law banning face-covering veils, enacted last week, has generated a lively debate in the comments section.

In the news this morning: A request to hold off on deporting youths, SB 1070 a year later, L.A. musician left comatose won't be deported, mo

Senate Democrats Tell Obama to Hold Off on Deportations of Young Immigrants - Fox News Latino Twenty-two Senate Democrats have signed a letter requesting that the deportations of young people brought here by their parents illegally or who overstayed visas be put off, suggesting alternatives.

'Be Italian?' No, be a Mexican (Video)

I'll confess that I've never seen the film or stage versions of "Nine," so I had no idea what "Be Italian" sounded like when a colleague sent me this video of a local singer who tweaked the lyrics.