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

In the news this morning: Obama and Latinos, the obstacles to learning English, immigrants in driver's license investigation, redistricting,

With Hispanic support for Obama waning, could Latino vote be up for grabs in 2012? - The Washington Post Recent Gallup polling has President Obama's approval rating among Latinos down to 48 percent, the lowest during his presidency, and a significant drop from the 60 percent rating he had among Latinos as recently as January.

American snapshot: Spanglish spoken here

A recent post about Spanglish and code-switching inspired one reader to send in this photo of that most quintessential of California Spanglish-signed business, Wateria.

Reaction to 'the jobs (most) Americans won't do'

The other day while traveling, I shared some of my in-flight reading in a post. The book was “Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do” by journalist Gabriel Thompson, who spent a year working in low-wage jobs alongside predominantly foreign-born Latinos.

On why Latinos should be celebrated this month

The respected Chicano author Luis J. Rodriguez has written a thought-provoking essay for The Huffington Post about what he refers to as Latino Heritage Month, officially termed National Hispanic Heritage Month.

In the news this morning: Visas for crime victims, task force blasts Secure Communities, Paris bans Muslim street prayers, more

Southland officials reach out to human trafficking victims - Southern California Public Radio Immigrants who are crime victims are eligible for special categories of visas. Federal and regional immigration officials have been reaching out to victims of cross-border human trafficking.

American snapshot: Boyle Heights

This seems like the appropriate snapshot to pull out of the photo vault on the eve of Mexico's Independence Day, which coincides with the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States.

An immigration attorney's take on the post-9/11 era

The Immigration Daily website, a news source for immigration attorneys, has posted an interesting essay from a New York attorney who remembers September 11, 2001 like it was yesterday - and the decade that followed, from an immigration lawyer's perspective.

She loves Mexico, but is glad her parents came to the U.S.

Ahead of Mexico's Independence Day tomorrow, The News Taco website has posted an essay from a contributor who goes by OhHellsNah titled "Happy Birthday Mexico. Love You, But I'm Glad My Parents Left.

In the news today: A split over Arizona boycott, fewer immigrants getting New Mexico driver's licenses, Obama seeks Latino support, more

Immigration Advocates Split over Arizona Boycott- New York Times The various activists who put an economic boycott of Arizona in place after the passage of SB 1070 last year are now divided over whether it ought to continue.

Essays honoring 'Los 72' translated into English

A post last November highlighted a website called 72migrantes.com, a moving tribute and “virtual altar” dedicated to the 72 U.S.-bound migrants who were found massacred in August of last year in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas.

Who had to wait longest for an immigrant visa this month?

Who has been waiting the longest to come legally to the U.S. this month? It's time for another look at the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin, which each month lists the categories of hopeful immigrants who are up to receive visas, as well as who has been waiting the longest.

In the news this morning: CIA investigates its role in NYPD's spying on Muslims, Russell Pearce recall, visa overstays, border bus tours, mo

CIA investigates its role in NYPD programs that monitor Muslim communities, infiltrate mosques - The Washington Post The inspector general of the Central Intelligence Agency is investigating whether the agency broke the law in assisting the New York Police Department to build intelligence gathering programs that monitored Muslim communities.

On the jobs (most) Americans won't do

The book that has kept me company on a cross-country flight this morning is “Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do,” by journalist Gabriel Thompson.

Travel day today

Photo by Raiden256/Flickr (Creative Commons)

In the news this morning: Crackdown on visa overstays, NCLR and the Arizona boycott, Rick Perry on immigration, more

Broader security checks to reduce visa overstays - The Associated Press The Obama administration is looking for immigrants in the U.S. who have overstayed the terms of their visas, using a database that "automatically checks multiple national security, immigration and law enforcement databases at the same time.