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

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.

DHS shift 'doesn't provide permanent status for anyone:' A Twitter Q&A with the White House

The Obama administration's announcement yesterday that it would back off on deporting "low priority" immigrants who don't present a public safety threat is being cheered by immigrant advocates, but questions remain as to who will benefit and to what extent.

What does the DHS policy shift on deportation mean?

The Obama administration announced this afternoon that it will make further changes to the way deportation cases are handled, potentially sparing many "low priority" immigrants such as youths who arrived here as children and military families from deportation, and allowing some the opportunity to work legally.

Backlash over former NCLR official's defense of Secure Communities

UPDATE: In a new White House blog post, Muñoz goes on to clarify the White House's deportation policies in light of an announcement this afternoon from DHS that, if it works as planned, should spare many "low priority" potential deportees.

In the news this morning: Redistricting in L.A., immigrant taxi dancers suing club, border shooting lawsuit dismissed, more

Yaroslavsky's Westside district would be carved up by Latino plan - Los Angeles Times L.A. County supervisor Gloria Molina has proposed a redistricting plan that would create a second Latino seat on the county Board of Supervisors.

Does Secure Communities undermine L.A.'s Special Order 40?

On Monday night, as protestors and speakers sounded off on the federal government's Secure Communities immigration enforcement program during a town hall meeting in Los Angeles, one recurring theme involved a local police policy enacted more than three decades ago.

Report cites cases of minor offenses, many traffic-related, leading to deportation

Critics of the Obama administration's immigration policies have pointed to a growing number of people being deported after being stopped for traffic infractions, some serious, some less so.

In the news this morning: Redistricting complaints, border deaths, church opposition to Alabama immigration law, more

Fallout from Republicans, Latinos over state redistricting maps - Southern California Public Radio California's redrawn political boundaries don't sit well with GOP leaders who say they give Democrats an edge, or with Latino groups, who say Latino voters won't be adequately represented.

Are Latino voters truly liberal at heart?

A short post yesterday highlighted a national poll of Latino registered voters who said by a large majority that they'd rather raise taxes on the wealthy than have government programs eliminated to ease the national debt.

'¡Ask a Mexican!' the Off-Broadway play? ¡Sí!

Gustavo Arellano of the OC Weekly has revealed a long-kept secret: There is now a play based on his famously love-it-or-hate-it ¡Ask a Mexican! column, y en Nueva York, no less.It's not a musical (though that would be a fun experiment), but it's being produced by a respected theater company, which will give the play its first reading next week.