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

In the news this morning: DOJ sues over Alabama immigration law, in-state tuition controversy, Illinois Dream Act, more

Justice Dept. challenges tough Ala immigration law - The Associated Press The Obama administration has sued Alabama over a stringent new state immigration law set to take effect Sept.

Meet the man behind the anti-Shariah law state initiatives

In case you missed it, the New York Times ran an interesting story this weekend on David Yerushalmi, the little-known Brooklyn attorney who has helped orchestrate a seemingly out-of-nowhere flurry of state initiatives to ban Islamic law from courts, including an Oklahoma measure approved overwhelmingly by voters there last year.

American snapshot: Torrance

Perhaps the world's most adorable health product mascots, the Sato Pharmaceutical Co. elephants. Born in Japan, these two live in the grocery store at the Mitsuwa Marketplace shopping center in Torrance, where I recently saw a small child pose for a photo with them.

How we observe Ramadan in an always-on society

KPCC intern Yasmin Nouh rose long before dawn today to observe the start of Ramadan. As she writes, it's not as easy to observe the Islamic holy month in the United States, with its frenetic pace of life, as it is in places like Egypt and Iran, the countries in which her parents grew up.

In the news this morning: Redistricting and minorities, Illinois Dream Act, immigrant entrepreneurs, asylum difficulties, more

Latest CA Redistricting Maps Satisfy Most Minorities, But Not Latinos - New America Media The California Citizens Redistricting Commission has approved new political boundaries, and civil rights groups are now weighing the impact the maps will have on communities of color.

What causes prejudice against foreigners, and is there an antidote?

In light of the recent mass murders in Norway perpetrated by Anders Behring Breivik, a domestic terrorist motivated by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim bias, Scientific American has an interesting Q&A with Steven Neuberg, a professor of psychology at Arizona State University.

Hard times, but a better attitude, among those on losing end of wealth gap

A report that came out earlier this week from the Pew Research Center chronicled a dizzying drop in the household wealth of minorities between 2005 and 2009, with median Latino, Asian, and black household wealth declining by 66 percent, 54 percent and 53 percent, respectively.

In the news this morning: Killings test Norway's reputation as haven for immigrants, Latinos and the GOP, H-1B visas and U.S. workers, more

Immigration, Integration Draw Attention In Norway - NPR The brutal attacks in Norway last week by Anders Behring Breivik have tested Norway's reputation as a welcoming haven for immigrants, many of them Muslims.

The people on the losing end of the wealth gap

The effects of the recession and the housing crisis on minorities were outlined earlier this week in a report from the Pew Research Center, which found Latinos on the far losing end of a growing wealth gap between white households and households of color.

Longer immigration court wait times, with especially long waits in L.A.

The time it takes for immigration courts to decide cases continues to stretch, with average wait times getting longer by the year lately, according to a new report. And longest waits are in Los Angeles.

In the news this morning: Controversy over CA Supreme Court pick, a shift in Europe's immigration debate, the HALT Act, more

California Supreme Court nominee Goodwin Liu sparks criticism - Los Angeles Times Gov. Jerry Brown’s nominee, a UC Berkeley law professor, would join two other Asian American justices.

What is the HALT Act?

Perhaps the biggest challenge so far to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement memo last month that urged the use of prosecutorial discretion is not a legal challenge, but a legislative one.

Readers react to the California Dream Act

Readers have posted close to 30 comments since Monday on a piece related to the California Dream Act, half of which was signed into law that day by Gov. Jerry Brown in Los Angeles.

Examining the high school dropout crisis

An NPR series this week has focused on the high school dropout crisis, which disproportionately affects black and Latino teens. According to U.S. Department of Education statistics, in spite of lower overall dropout rates since 1980, Latino teens' rates remain the highest.

In the news this morning: Muslim hearings resume, wealth gap grows as minority wealth drops, Alabama immigration lawsuit, more

Rep. Peter King Resuming Hearings On American Muslim Radicalization With Focus On Al-Shabab - CBS New York According to the New York Republican congressman, today’s hearing will focus on an organization he says has been recruiting American citizens of Somali descent in the Minneapolis-St.