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

What does a Latin jazz protest sound like?

What does it sound like when some of Los Angeles' best-known Latin jazz musicians, upset over plans to exclude their category from the Grammy Awards, pick up their instruments to stage a musical protest? For starters, expect a nice horn rendition of "Sabor a Mí.

In the news this morning: California Dream Act bill up for vote, 'extraordinary rendition' case, a proposal to legalize military families, m

Dream Act could provide public funds for college - Fresno Bee Members of the state Assembly will vote Friday on a bill that could fling open the doors to higher education for undocumented students by offering them public money for college.

Will California opt out of Secure Communities, and can it?

The California Assembly passed a bill 43-22 today that challenges the embattled federal immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities. If the bill becomes law, it would allow the state to renegotiate its contract with the Homeland Security department, allowing local jurisdictions to opt out of what is now a mandatory fingerprint-sharing program.

It's a Small World: The story of the 'Disney visa'

Ever hear of a "Disney visa?" If you haven't, a fascinating article in the Florida Law Review explains that and more about what it terms "The Wonderful World of Disney Visas."

In the news this morning: Supreme Court upholds Arizona employer law, California Dream Act on table, Stockton mosque arson, more

Supreme Court upholds Ariz. law punishing employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants - The Washington Post The high court has upheld Arizona’s 2007 law that penalizes businesses for hiring workers who are in the United States illegally, rejecting arguments that states have no role in immigration matters.

From KPCC's Madeleine Brand Show: Will the U.S. see more Middle East refugees?

A post last week examined the potential for refugees coming to the United States from the Middle East and North Africa, where ongoing political upheaval has turned violent in some countries, especially in Libya.

How hunger affects Latinos in the U.S.

Multi-American's sister blog DCentric at WAMU in Washington, D.C. has put together a list of five ways in which Latinos are affected by the food insecurity crisis affecting families throughout the United States.

In the news this morning: Misconduct admitted in WWII Japanese internment, GPS devices at border, immigrant entrepreneurs leaving, more

World War II internment: U.S. top lawyer admits misconduct in Japanese American internment cases - Los Angeles Times Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal has made an admission that one of his predecessors, Charles Fahy, deliberately hid from the Supreme Court a military report that Japanese Americans were not a threat during World War II.

Spam rocks? Much, much love for Spam musubi

One of a series of posts last week that explored unsung ethnic delicacies highlighted Spam musubi, a popular snack made with Spam and sushi rice that is popular in Hawaii.

Economics vs. enforcement: The long-running Vidalia onion saga

Yesterday, NPR's All Things Considered examined the looming crisis in the Vidalia onion industry in Georgia, where growers of the prized sweet onions could be left without sufficient workers because of a new anti-illegal immigration law that tightens regulations for hiring labor.

Navy names ship for Cesar Chavez, but controversy hasn't died down yet

The criticism lobbed at the U.S. Navy since last week by some politicians and pundits for its decision to name a ship after the late labor leader and civil rights icon Cesar Chavez didn't stop the Navy from moving forward.

In the news this morning: Georgia's farm labor crisis, Rubio's immigration stance, Muslim group seeks airport training investigation, more

Georgia Farmers Brace For New Immigration Law - NPR The growers of Georgia's famed sweet Vidalia onions fear that a new law cracking down on employers will leave them without workers.

The amo and the atsay: Another perspective on the Schwarzenegger-Baena love child scandal

Ever since the news broke last week about former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's love child by ex-maid/mistress Mildred Patricia Baena, the stories and headlines relating to ethnicity (she's Guatemalan) have ranged from the somewhat engaging (like a piece about Baena's MySpace page) to the groan-inducing, not to mention the inevitable SEO-friendly list.

What California's prison downsizing might represent for private detention contractors

Now that California has been ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to reduce its prison population by tens of thousands of inmates, how might this affect the private prison companies that make money incarcerating not only criminals, but also immigrants awaiting deportation?

In the news this morning: Child farm labor, Latinos in Amish country, Secure Communities investigation to begin, more

Farm labor: Children in the fields - 60 Minutes - CBS News A report on Latino youths working alongside their parents in the agricultural industry. Children as young as 12 can be hired for farm work.