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

A DREAM Act vote is coming, but when?

Speculation that the U.S. House of Representatives might take up the DREAM Act early this week - even as early as today, as some outlets had reported - turned out to be a bit premature.

In the news this morning: What's in a name, the upcoming DREAM Act vote, an immigrant private eye, undocumented student leaders, more

Little Bangladesh must grow into its name - Los Angeles Times Most businesses in the tiny hard-won district, approved by city officials earlier this year, still cater to a mostly Latino or Korean immigrant clientele.

Got masa?

Now that the turkey thing is behind us, it's officially tamales season, the time of year when bags of dry masa mix begin flying off grocery shelves. Ready for your tamaleadas?

In the news this morning: Undocumented with a law degree, green light for a disputed mosque, honoring a Boyle Heights culinary hero, more

Undocumented UCLA law grad is in a legal bind - Los Angeles Times In May, Luis Perez became the first undocumented immigrant to graduate from the UCLA School of law. But because he has been here illegally since age 8, he may not be able to practice, even if he passes the bar.

A Thanksgiving retweet

RT @NeffStarr Turkey with my white family @1pm Then my mexican family @6pm

Remembering those who put food our our tables, and those who can't afford it for their own

A couple of reports released in the past week are good food for thought as many of us head home early tonight to start Thanksgiving preparations.

California, meet Arizona: A proposed SB 1070-style ballot initiative moves forward

Last month, I posted a brief list of similarities between Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law and a proposed ballot initiative in California that aims to put a closely related law on this state's books.

In the news this morning: DREAM Act update, an AZ-style initiative moves forward in CA, more

Congress eyes DREAM Act: Fair to illegal immigrants or back-door amnesty? - Christian Science Monitor Back-and-forth from both parties as vote nears on legislation that could provide path to legal status for undocumented college students and military hopefuls.

Three turkeys, three cultures

It's two days to Thanksgiving and a turkey dinner prepared with...mole? Fish sauce? Heck yeah.

DREAM Act: Spin and counter-spin as another vote nears

As a vote on the DREAM Act nears, what is political spin and what isn't? Now that a white paper listing GOP talking points in opposition to the proposed legislation is making the rounds, the Immigration Policy Center has issued a document countering some of the claims being made.

On Mexican food, farmers and NAFTA

Last week, when I was excitedly tweeting about UNESCO's designation of Mexican food as an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity” - right up there with French cooking - I didn't think too far beyond how this long-misunderstood underdog of the world's most sophisticated (and yes, delicious) cuisines was finally getting its due.

In the news this morning: Student Steve Li returns home, GOP leaders prepare to battle DREAM Act, birth tourism, more

Freed student Steve Li returns to S.F. - San Francisco Chronicle The Chinese-American college student was almost deported to Peru, where he was born while his family lived there temporarily.

Some good reads as State Question 755 winds its way through court

A temporary restraining order will continue in effect until the end of this month blocking a controversial new Oklahoma law that, if implemented, would amend the state's constitution to ban the use of Islamic Sharia law in the state's courts.

Illegal, undocumented, unauthorized? More debate over immigrants and AP style

Last month I wrote about the discussion provoked by a campaign organized by ColorLines, an online magazine covering issues related to racial justice, to discourage media use of "illegals" in reference to immigrants who arrived in this country illegally or overstayed visas.