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

Q&A: Why there's still work to do in Mexico, in spite of less migration

In the last week or so, much of the talk regarding illegal immigration from Mexico has turned to how more would-be migrants are staying home. Last week, a widely-circulated New York Times story profiled a family in the longtime migrant-sending state of Jalisco, pointing to economic and educational improvements there as one of the reasons why those who would lave left a decade ago may now be opting to skip the trip north.

In the news this morning: Latinos and population growth, a new green card lottery, Jose Antonio Vargas appears on Colbert Report, more

Births, not immigration, account for most of Hispanic growth in last decade - CNN According to a new report from the Pew Hispanic Center, births have overtaken immigration as the force behind the growth of the Mexican American population in the U.

First part of California Dream Act headed to governor's office

One of two bills referred to as the California Dream Act was approved today by the state senate and is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown's office for approval. Known as AB 130, the measure would allow undocumented college students access to privately funded financial aid in the form of scholarships and other assistance as overseen by state colleges and universities.

E-Verify 101: Report covers basics and history of worker screening program

The program known as E-Verify has made its way lately to the center of the immigration debate, as some lawmakers seek to make the online worker screening tool mandatory for employers nationwide.

Readers on Latinos buying 'grandma's house'

A post earlier this week highlighted a new USC report on the "housing swap" taking place in California between older white Americans as they sell off their homes in retirement, and the younger Latinos who are entering the market.

In the news this morning: A deportation reprieve for same-sex couple, Muslim female weightlifter to compete, immigration audits, more

Gay couple trying to avoid deportation given 2-year reprieve by San Francisco judge - San Francisco Examiner A federal judge in San Francisco has granted a two-year reprieve from deportation for a Venezuelan man to stay in the U.

Report: Fewer immigrants are coming from Mexico, but fewer are going back

Recent reports have indicated a sharp decrease in illegal immigration from Mexico, including a widely-circulated New York Times story last week that suggested economic and educational improvements there are among the reasons would-be migrants are staying put.

American snapshot: Lynwood

First Communion dresses to the right, quinceañera dresses to the left, and wedding dresses to order whenever you're ready. For each of these Latina milestones, there's a great dress.

A long, costly and dangerous trip for migrants smuggled by sea

The trend of undocumented immigrants being smuggled by sea up the California coast isn't entirely new, but the recent discovery of 15 people stranded on rugged Santa Cruz Island off the coast of Ventura County has brought the story farther north.

In the news this morning: More kids are children of immigrants, little protest at All-Star game in Arizona, smuggling by sea, more

Census: Share of children in US hits record low - Associated Press Census numbers show that children now make up less of the nation's population than ever, even with a boost from immigrant families.

How immigrants have fared in SCOTUS lately

The always informative ImmigrationProf Blog has compiled an interesting roundup of the recent hits and misses in the U.S. Supreme Court affecting immigrants. Over the last few years, it turns out, immigrants have not fared badly in the high court's decisions, with some favorable ones in 2010, though there have been less favorable decisions lately.

Who will buy grandma's house? Likely a Latino family

Who is going to buy your parents' or grandparents' house when they retire and downsize, or move out of state? According to a new study from the University of Southern California, there's a good chance that the buyers will be Latino.

American snapshot: South L.A.

Seeing Mexican flags flying from homes in Los Angeles, often joined by the Stars and Stripes, is commonplace. Less often spotted on private flagpoles (though easy to find) is the flag superimposed with La Virgen de Guadalupe, which nonetheless makes perfect sense.

In the news this morning: Migrants rescued off Santa Cruz Island, wives of deportees bonding online, Mexico repatriation flights resume, mor

Illegal immigrants rescued off Santa Barbara coast - Los Angeles Times Fifteen Mexican citizens were stranded for days on Santa Cruz Island after being left there by smugglers. They used a cell phone to call for help.

Part of California Dream Act headed to Senate floor

One of two bills that make up what's referred to as the California Dream Act is now on its way to the Senate floor. The proposed legislation would allow undocumented college students to apply for and receive scholarships that don't come from state funds.