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

In the news this morning: Latino population growth and politics, 100 years after the Triangle fire, Muslim civil rights hearing, more

Census data show Hispanic boom. How it could impact US politics. - Christian Science Monitor The Latino population in the United States grew 43 percent since 2000 to 50.5 million, accounting for more than half the nation's population growth and potentially affecting future elections.

San Gabriel 'maternity tourism' operation reignites birthright citizenship debate

A week after Arizona legislators voted down several immigration bills, two of them intended to force an end to automatic U.S. citizenship for children born in this country, the debate over birthright citizenship has a new epicenter.

Ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: Nopales

I'll admit that there's nothing terribly unconventional about nopales, the fourth item in this week's series of unsung ethnic delicacies. Nopales, or nopalitos, are made from the cooked paddles of the prickly pear cactus and are standard fare in Mexico, and thus in Southern California.

Latinos and health: Blessed and cursed at the same time?

This Tuesday kicked off a monthlong effort by the American Diabetes Association to urge people to get tested in order to see if they are at risk for type 2 diabetes, which typically strikes during adulthood.

In the news this morning: Minorites make up most of U.S. growth, state immigration laws, an Arizona teacher's anti-Latino letter and more

New milestone: 1 in 6 Americans is Hispanic - MSNBC.com Census Bureau to release more data today; minorities are epected to make up for 90 percent of growth since 2000.

After the ranting anti-Asian UCLA student, three great music videos

Whatever misguided creativity moved UCLA student Alexandra Wallace to post a video of herself ranting about Asian students in the library and utter her now-famous "ching chong, ling long, ting tong" line a week and a half ago fell far short of what she termed "an attempt to produce a humorous YouTube video.

Ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: Tejuino

We're on day three of a week of posts involving those delicacies from Southern California's smorgasbord of ethnic cuisines that may not sound, look, smell, or even necessarily taste like delicacies on the first try, but are tastes worth acquiring because they're pretty darn good.

Angelenos/Angeleños speak out on who they are

In a brief post yesterday, I mentioned that I'll be moderating a panel next week at KPCC titled "Angelino, Angeleno, Angeleño: Who are we?"

In the news this morning: Local Salvadorans and Obama's visit, Muslim civil rights hearings, a 4-year-old U.S. citizen gets deported, more

Local Salvadorans hope Obama visit sign of immigration reform, help - San Gabriel Valley Tribune From the story: The visit was championed as an indication of the U.S. president's commitment to the small poverty-striken nation, whose economy, crime and emigration levels are inextricably tied to the United States.

Ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: Durian

This week, I’m featuring a post a day on those ethnic foods that may be an acquired taste, but are worth acquiring because in the end, they are unsung delicacies. And I've been taking suggestions, which is a good thing, because there are different delicacies for different people.

What killed Arizona's anti-illegal immigration bills?

Last week, Arizona's state senate voted down five major anti-illegal immigration bills, among them two bills seeking to deny automatic U.S. citizenship to babies born to undocumented immigrants, a bill requiring hospitals to check immigration status, and an "omnibus" bill that would bar undocumented immigrants from public services.

Angelino, Angeleno, Angeleño: Who are we?

A couple of months ago, I featured an excerpt from a popular post on the KCET website by author D.J. Waldie on the disappearance of the Spanish consonant ñ, pronounced “enye,” from the word that we in Los Angeles use to describe ourselves.

In the news this morning: Check your own immigration status, Latino youths a majority in AZ, an Asian American citizenship effort, more

US To Allow Individuals To Check Their Immigration Status Online - Wall Street Journal The federal government will now allow workers to verify their immigration status online as part of an effort to improve the accuracy of the data employers use to confirm a person's legal ability to work in the United States.

Ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: Arroz con calamares en su tinta

Today marks the launch of a week's worth of posts about food. Not just any food, but those dishes in every ethnic cuisine that may not seem appetizing to those who didn't grow up with them, or require more than one taste to fall in love with, but are delicious to those in the know.

On the Internet, there's still no such thing as a post-racial America

Most of the data out there on interracial relationships doesn't come from online dating sites, but it's high time more of it did, because the results are fascinating.