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

Opting out of Secure Communities? Not so fast, ICE official says

The California Assembly voted last week to approve a bill that seeks to extricate the state from Secure Communities, a federal immigration enforcement program in which the fingerprints of people who land in local jails are checked against a database of immigration records.

Four things to know about immigrants in the military

A post yesterday told the story of the late Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta, whose name has come up in recent weeks after one Southern California legislator suggested a U.S. Navy ship be named for him.

In the news this morning: Calif. Secure Communities bill advances, Latinos and gay marriage, refugees continue to flee Libya, more

Immigration legislation: California lawmakers weigh opting out of federal immigration enforcement program - Los Angeles Times A bill that would allow California and local jurisdictions to opt out of the controversial Secure Communities immigration enforcement program passed the Assembly late last week, and moves forward to the Senate.

Marine, hero, immigrant: Remembering Sgt. Rafael Peralta

During a recent controversy over the naming of a U.S. Navy ship for labor leader and civil rights hero Cesar Chavez, the name of a lesser-known hero was brought up, that of Marine Corps Sgt.

Five ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: The meat edition

Last week, Multi-American delved once more into that culinary landscape where some diners fear to tread, the territory of the unsung ethnic delicacy.

The California Dream Act, part two: What it entails

Earlier this month, the California state Assembly approved one of two bills referred to as the California Dream Act. While neither proposes legal status for undocumented students, as does the similarly named federal proposal, both aim to make it easier for them to pay for college.

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.