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

When children of immigrants pitch in, what are the expectations?

Several recent posts have addressed immigrants and wealth: how they amass it, how they keep it (or don't), and how they pass it along to future generations. And importantly, as tends to happen in immigrant families, how future generations give it back.

In the news this morning: 'Immigration detainer' lawsuit, redistricting, immigrant detention, unauthorized workers go underground, more

Homeland Security sued over immigrant detention - Los Angeles Times A Chicago civil rights group has filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court against Homeland Security, alleging that the agency's practice of having local police detain immigrants for immigration authorities - what's referred to as an "immigration detainer" - without evidence of a crime is unconstitutional.

46 years after the riots in Watts, the smoke clears in London

As London recovers from several days of the worst rioting in recent memory, the 46th anniversary of the 1965 riots in Watts passed relatively quietly, its only local observance a small gathering yesterday at the Watts Towers.

Fewer minority journalists, more minority-targeted news?

As The Huffington Post adds its new LatinoVoices and BlackVoices to the media mix, on the heels of a Latino-targeted Fox News venture launched earlier this year, an opinion piece on the News Taco website points out that in spite of these initiatives, racial and ethnic minorities remain a small fraction of the newsroom workforce (and that number is growing smaller).

'My perseverance...kept me going:' A late-bloomer student speaks out

A post earlier this week explored the circumstances that land some minority college graduates in the job market later than their college peers. Family finances, work responsibilities, a lack of familiarity with the system experienced by many first-generation college students, even immigration status in some cases can add years to the time it takes to earn a degree.

In the news this morning: Young students dropping out, anti-Latino hate crimes on the rise, the Asian American experience in portraits, more

California reports eighth-grade dropout rate for first time - Los Angeles Times About 3.5% of California eighth-graders, or 17,257 students, left school and didn't return for ninth grade.

Whole Foods + Ramadan + Islamophobia = public relations headache

A recent post on how Ramadan is observed in the United States mentioned that Whole Foods had begun promoting halal products for the Islamic holy month, part of its marketing outreach efforts to Muslim customers.

How marketers exploit minorities' taste for bottled water

As a Latina raised on bottled water who still seldom imbibes L.A. tap, this Forbes piece today resonates. Why is it that minority consumers insist on costly bottled water, which research has shown to be generally no safer or purer than tap water?Black and Latino parents are three times more likely than white parents to give their children bottled water, according to a study cited.

In the news this morning: Arizona appeals Supreme Court on SB 1070, Whole Foods' Ramadan marketing controversy, more

Ariz. governor files appeal with over immigration law - USA Today Attorneys for Arizona governor Jan Brewer filed a long-awaited petition with the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday over SB 1070, asking the court to overturn a lower court's injunction last year blocking portions of the state immigration law.

Why the record number of state immigration bills, even as fewer become law?

The National Conference of State Legislatures announced yesterday in a report that in the first half of 2011, state legislators introduced no less than 1,592 immigration-related bills and resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees in all 50 U.

Minorities and the late-bloomer education

A post earlier this week related the results of a Georgetown University study that showed black and Latino degree holders earning less than their white and Asian counterparts.

A record year for state immigration legislation

The National Conference of State Legislatures has announced that in the first half of 2011, state legislators introduced a whopping 1,592 immigration-related bills and resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees in the U.

In the news this morning: Latinos and L.A. County redistricting, immigration checks, Secure Communities in California, more

Board of Supervisors weighs idea of new Latino-majority district - Los Angeles Times Latino activists want for the county to create a second Latino-majority voter district. They say that demographic shifts in the last decade demand it, with Latinos now making up 48 percent of the county's population.

Ever get asked ‘Where are you from?’

And no, we're not talking in the turf sense.Anna John of WAMU's DCentric blog in Washington, D.C. takes on the cringe-inducing question in a post today that offers a few tips for those curious about others' ethnic or racial background.

'Tony & Janina,' the film that helped reverse a deportation

It's a rare case in which a deported immigrant is allowed to return, but this is what happened yesterday to Janina Wasilewski, a Polish immigrant who was deported four years ago, leaving her husband in Chicago and returning to Poland with their then 6-year-old U.