Leslie Berestein Rojas

Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter

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 cross-cultural legacy of Doritos

It might seem to some who read this blog that I'm a fan of junk food. I'm not, really, unless it involves something doused in Tapatío sauce. But in recent days, after reading a series of obituaries for Archie West, the man credited with inventing Doritos, I've become fascinated with the chips' cultural legacy.

The Alabama ruling, SB 1070 and the Supreme Court: What's next?

As it begins its new term today, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to consider an appeal from the state of Arizona on SB 1070, the controversial 2010 anti-illegal immigration law that has since spurred copycat laws throughout the United States - but whose key provisions remain blocked by a federal judge's ruling in July of last year.

Why some Latinos become lawyers, and their lingering challenges

The journal of the American Bar Association has an interesting piece in its new issue on Latino lawyers and what pushed some of them into their field. While based on a study of Latino attorneys in Washington state, the piece profiles several attorneys as to their background, what drove them into law practice - often personal factors quite different from those experienced by their non-Latino peers - and addresses why some still feel they need to be "10 times better" than non-Latinos to be accepted.

In the news this morning: School absences tied to Alabama law, SB 1070 awaits Supreme Court review this term, deported border crossers, more

Ala. immigration law marked by Hispanic school absences – USA Today A strict new Alabama anti-illegal immigration law, key parts of which were recently upheld in court, has already prompted hundreds of children to be absent from school.

Humid air, chicken soup - what takes you back?

A chance encounter last week with a young man in Baltimore led to a conversation about the chickens in El Salvador, chicken soup, and home.

Pitbull on being a light-skinned Latino rapper, touring the South (Video)

Latino List - Pitbull Inteview from Latino List on Vimeo.

Leniency isn't automatic under new deportation policy

It's been more than a month since the Obama administration announced a major shift in its deportation policy, with Department of Homeland Security officials saying that the cases of some 300,000 undocumented immigrants currently in deportation proceedings would be reviewed to identify those deemed a low priority for removal.

Who is migrating from where to where? A nifty interactive map

The Migration Policy Institute has released an updated version of its interactive world migration map of sending and destination regions, compiled using World Bank migration data.

In the news this morning: Repatriation program criticized, more Latinos identify as Native American, Alabama law confuses schools, more

U.S. makes deported immigrants take the long way home - Los Angeles Times The "Alien Transfer Exit Program" tries to disrupt immigration patterns, lessening the chances of another illegal crossing.

Society of Professional Journalists votes against use of 'illegal alien' and 'illegal immigrant'

FishbowlLA reports that the Society of Professional Journalists, one of the largest national organizations representing members of the media, adopted a resolution this week recommending that newsrooms abandon the use of "illegal immigrant" and "illegal alien.

The young Latino victims of the recession

A new report from the Pew Hispanic Center charts a disturbing aspect of how the recession has affected Latino families, hit hardest by the economic crisis.

Great Wall of LA: 'The collective history of the diverse peoples of Los Angeles' (Video)

The Great Wall of Los Angeles is said to be the longest mural in the world, 2,740 feet of art depicting the ethnic and racial history of Los Angeles through the 1950s that lies along the concrete embankment of the Tujunga Flood Control Channel in the San Fernando Valley.

'Everything but WASP forbears': An excerpt from Denise Hamilton's 'Damage Control'

Of the Los Angeles novelists who use the city as a backdrop, there's one mystery writer who has long portrayed the city as a place whose defining identity lies east of the Westside, a polyglot metropolis built and inhabited by immigrants.

In the news this morning: How companies profit from immigration enforcement, Latino kids living in poverty, ICE arrests almost 3,000, more

Companies Use Immigration Crackdown to Turn a Profit - The New York Times It's not just CCA and The GEO Group who have benefited from immigrant detention and immigration crackdowns in the U.

In case you missed it: Obama's Latino Q&A roundtable (Video)

The White House has posted video from yesterday's Latino media roundtable with President Obama, who took questions submitted by readers of Yahoo!, MSN Latino, AOL Latino and HuffPost LatinoVoices.