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

The end of birthright citizenship: Could it happen here?

In September, a report from the Migration Policy Institute took a shot at predicting what the unauthorized population of the United States might look like in 2050 if birthright citizenship were repealed.

'Narco novias' and the drug war art of Carolyn Castaño

The ugliness of the drug war has inspired some hauntingly beautiful paintings from a Los Angeles artist, the daughter of immigrant parents from Colombia. KPCC's Alfredo Guzman-Lopez interviewed Carolyn Castaño, who has created a series of paintings based on real-life "narco novias," women drawn into the netherworld of drug cartels through romantic entanglements.

On the emergence of a mixed race nation

One of the most e-mailed and tweeted stories yesterday involved students from the University of Maryland, but it involved a subject very close to the heart of Southern California. The New York Times piece explored the emergence of a mixed race America created by immigration and intermarriage through the members of the university's Multiracial and Biracial Student Association, a group of students of mixed racial and ethnic heritage ranging from black-white to Japanese-Irish who are proud to identify as such.

In the news this morning: English-only bills, Napolitano defends her record, young Egyptian Americans on the turmoil in Egypt, more

English-Only and English as Official Language Bills Gain Momentum - Fox News Latino The English-only movement continues, this time in the form of bills being pushed in Indiana and Minnesota.

An Egyptian American blogger's take on the crisis through two different lenses

The blog Muslim Matters has an interesting post from a second-generation Egyptian American who was born in the United States but raised in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, giving him unique perspective on the anti-government demonstrations rocking Egypt.

Report: 287(g) immigration enforcement program isn't focused on serious offenders

The federal government's controversial 287(g) program, which partners local agencies with immigration authorities, is the subject of a new report out today from the Migration Policy Institute.

How citizenship is defined around the world

Illustration by Maphobbyist/Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)

In the news this morning: Another birthright bill, human trafficking cases hard to prosecute, Egyptian immigrants protest in solidarity, mor

South Dakota Introduces Immigration and Birthright Citizenship Bills - Fox News Latino Three immigration-related state bills have been introduced, including one with provisions similar to Arizona's SB 1070 and another challenging automatic U.

Why the birthright citizenship battle is heating up now

There was a time when even in immigration restriction circles, talk of doing away with automatic U.S. citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants was an argument that didn’t make it far beyond the fringes.

Honoring civil rights pioneer Fred Korematsu

Sunday marks the first celebration of a new state holiday, Fred Korematsu Day, for the late Japanese American civil rights hero whose journey as an activist began when he challenged his forced incarceration in an internment camp during World War II.

In the news this morning: AZ anti-birthright citizenship bills, bad Latino films, Egyptian American reactions, Muslim students, more

Arizona’s new anti-birthright citizenship bills - MULTI-AMERICAN State legislators in Arizona introduced four bills yesterday with the goal of denying U.S. citizenship to children born to undocumented immigrants.

Arizona's new anti-birthright citizenship bills

As they had promised, legislators in both the state House and Senate in Arizona introduced bills today seeking to deny automatic U.S. citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants.

Introducing the giant Frankenjalapeño

Perhaps it's because I grew up in a part of L.A. where people grew chiles in their backyards, but I did a double take the other day upon coming across a press release heralding the introduction of a giant genetically modified jalapeño.

A guide to birthright citizenship and the 14th Amendment

The discussion over whether the United States should grant automatic citizenship to everyone who is born here isn't necessarily a new one, but in recent months, it's moved beyond talk.

In the news this morning: Interview with anti-birthright citizenship advocate, AZ border killing trial, workplace raids, Vang Pao funeral, m

The New Immigration Debate - National Review Online Kris Kobach, the new Kansas secretary of state and the attorney behind SB 1070 and new legislation challenging birthright citizenship, weights in on the legislative campaign to deny U.