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

Will the second part of the California Dream Act become law?

One of two measures that make up what's referred to as the California Dream Act was released from suspense in a state Senate committee today, and is expected to go to the Senate floor next week for a vote.

A first-person series on being 'Muslim and American' in OC

A few weeks ago, the Orange County Register sought submissions from the county's diverse population of Muslim immigrants their families to run as essays during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

In the news this morning: Undocumented hero stirs controversy, New Mexico license lawsuit, arrests at LA immigration protest, more

Is New Mexico illegal immigrant a hero or a criminal? - Los Angeles Times Antonio Diaz Chacon of Albuquerque has been honored after his heroic rescue of a 6-year-old girl from a suspected kidnapper.

American snapshot: South L.A.

I'll be taking the rest of today off to celebrate a special occasion. Hasta mañana.

For Latino immigrants and their families, retirement is a tricky thing

Several posts this month have addressed household wealth (or the lack of it) among minorities and, as part of a related thread, the duty that children of immigrants feel to help out their elders financially.

In the news this morning: NYPD targets Muslim communities, a 'graduation' protest, Alabama immigration law in court, more

With CIA help, NYPD moves covertly in Muslim areas - The Associated Press An investigation by The Associated Press has found that the New York Police Department "operates far outside its borders and targets ethnic communities in ways that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government.

Report: Why immigration reform has gone nowhere since 9/11

Why is it that in spite of public opinion poll support for broad immigration reforms and two presidents who have pushed for it recently, such initiatives have fallen short in the last decade?

Immigrants tell their stories for stories for history project

Latina Lista featured a piece yesterday on the Immigrant Archive Project, a fascinating new video history project put together by the Miami-based Latino Broadcasting Company. The aim is to document in a public way those histories that are passed down through generations of how the immigrants in our families arrived in this country and began a new life.

In the news this morning: Changes underway from new deportation policy, Alabama in court over immigration law, entrepreneur visas, more

Advocates cheer new immigration rules but expect Obama to follow through - The Hill Immigrant advocates say that President Obama's move to review and halt the deportations of thousands will resonate with Latino voters only if he backs it up.

A unique binational gathering place turns 40

Learning recently that a unique gathering place on the U.S.-Mexico border was turning 40 inspired me to dig up this slide show from last year, with the audio and photos taken during my last visit there.

'Jack and Jill emigrated from the valley when they immigrated to the hill'

Having just written "emigration, vs. immigration" in my last post, I found this little piece in the Mail Tribune of southern Oregon amusing. A reader named Ruth sent in a question to a "Since You Asked" column inquiring about the terms emigrant (one who leaves his/her country to settle in another) vs.

A trillion-dollar global price tag for immigration restrictions?

What are the costs of maintaining policies around the world that restrict immigration? Economist Michael Clemens of the Center for Global Development has done the math, and "the few estimates we have should make economists’ jaws hit their desks," he writes.

In the news this morning: Repatriation flights criticized, some same-sex couples' deportations halted, an immigration protest with curry, mo

Repatriation flights for illegal immigrants draw criticism - USA Today Homeland Security has spent more than $85 million in past eight years to fly Mexican migrants caught crossing through Arizona back to the interior, away from the border.

Do more minorities with graduate degrees = more influence?

The News Taco website had an interesting post this week from educator and researcher Jose Villesecas, who argued that it's important for more Latinos to pursue advanced degrees in order for Latinos in general to "gain influence in the highest levels of our society.

Who is a 'low priority' under DHS deportation guidelines?

After yesterday's announcement from the Department of Homeland Security that it will review some 300,000 cases of immigrants in the deportation pipeline, potentially sparing many from removal, a Obama administration official posting on the White House Blog linked to "common sense guidelines" that will be applied in deciding who goes and who stays.