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

'They wrote ‘Osama Bin Laden’ on my picture:' An Arab American girl's memories of the 9/11 aftermath

It didn't take long from the time the planes hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 for something ugly to begin occurring in American classrooms. Arab American students, until then perceived as no different from anyone else, were suddenly very different.

In the news this morning: Deportations without due process, Latino Muslims on identity, Obama's uncle is released, more

Many deportees unwittingly waive rights, report says - Los Angeles Times According to a report from the National Immigration Law Center, more than 160,000 immigrants signed what are called stipulated removals, many without understanding the documents and with no legal representation.

'Good people, strong people:' Reagan and Bush debate illegal immigration

In the wake of last night's GOP presidential candidates' debate, The Atlantic posted a video today that seems shocking by present standards of immigration rhetoric.

Is coming to America after 9/11 still worthwhile? An open letter to a would-be immigrant relative

Not long after the attacks of September 11, 2001 author and New American Media editor Andrew Lam wrote a touching response to a question from a cousin in Vietnam who wrote asking, "Is coming to America still worth the journey?"

Latinos and banking: Why they shy away, and why they shouldn't

In a series of recent posts, we've looked at how immigrant families build wealth and pass it along, making the ascent from have-nots to haves via wise investments such as the purchase of homes, and building on family financial networks that draw in multiple generations.

Three ways in which 9/11 altered policing in the U.S.

Billions of dollars poured into counterterrorism efforts, ratcheted-up surveillance and information-gathering "fusion centers" are just a few of the ways in which the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 altered the way law enforcement works in the United States.

In the news this morning: The 'Irvine 11' trial, Latino kids going hungry, immigration talk at GOP debate, prosecutorial discretion, more

Irvine 11's trial begins with both sides citing 1st Amendment - Los Angeles Times Prosecutors say the Muslim students on trial "shut down" Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren during a speech at UC Irvine in February 2010; defense attorneys argue that the students expressed political views in a legal protest and have the right to do so.

Will climate change affect migration?

Will climate change contribute to migration in the future as people are displaced? Many experts believe so, and the Migration Policy Institute is the latest to produce a report detailing how.

Making sense of why more Latinos are going to federal prison

A government report released yesterday revealed that for the first time, the majority of people being sentenced to federal prison for felony offenses are Latino.

In the news this morning: Latinos and LA County political boundaries, 'Irvine 11' trial begins, no relief for would-be child immigrants, mor

Foes sound off in L.A. County supervisorial district fight - Los Angeles Times More than 800 people packed a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting yesterday for "a tense five-hour exchange of starkly different visions of how political boundaries should be redrawn in light of the region's steadily increasing Latino population.

The 'undocumented' vs. 'illegal' debate continues

The media industry organization UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc. is lending itself to a campaign that urges media outlets to stop using "illegal" as a way of referring to immigrants.

Spanglish as part of our daily soundtrack

KPCC's OnCentral blog has featured an audio piece on Spanglish as part of its "Sounds of South Los Angeles," an ongoing series.

Will Latinos drive the real estate recovery?

A post on Friday explored the number one way immigrant families move up the economic ladder, i.e. the acquisition of real estate. And while minorities, and especially Latinos, were hit hard by the foreclosure crisis, a new crop of prospective home buyers is prepared to snap up low-priced properties, potentially driving the revival of the housing market.

In the news this morning: NYPD collected data on mosques, Latino leaders worried about 2012 races, 'undocumented' vs. 'illegal,' more

Docs: NYPD eyed 250-plus mosques, student groups - Associated Press According to officials and internal documents, the New York Police Department collected intelligence on more than 250 mosques and Muslim student groups in the New York area, often with the aid of informants.

American snapshot: San Marino

From the archives, a snapshot from San Marino, taken just before Labor Day of last year.