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

In the news this morning: DREAM Act analysis, OC civil rights history, Ron Santo, more

NewsHour Connect: Democrats Tighten DREAM Act in Hopes of Appealing to Republicans - PBS NewsHour A rundown on the streamlined version of the bill introduced this week, student activism and its chances of success in Congress, with analysis from me.

RIP Le Van Ba, the Vietnamese sandwich king

If there is anything good that came out of French colonialism in Indochina, it's the bánh mì, otherwise known as the Vietnamese sandwich. And the man who helped popularize it in California was Le Van Ba.

Donated photo: A downtown DREAM Act rally

A student participating in a rally in downtown Los Angeles this morning to promote the DREAM Act sent in this photo. The rally was held in support of both the proposed federal legislation and of several demonstrators arrested during a rally a few months ago, who were in court today.

DREAM Act: Movement in the House

Update: A pending House vote on the DREAM Act has been put off awaiting the results of a budget report. Frank Sharry of America's Voice, which is monitoring the bill, said this afternoon that a floor vote is now expected mid-week.

In the news this morning: Immigrant workers shortchanged, Temecula gets a mosque, DREAM Act students, mob deportation, more

Stealing Immigrants' Wages in New York - Village Voice On how immigrant workers are regularly shortchanged on wages and overtime.

Bao, empanadas, and the Pillsbury Doughboy

Over the weekend I saw a couple of amusing tweets from @jenny8lee, aka journalist Jennifer 8. Lee, the former New York Times reporter turned author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles and a general food fan.

U.S. immigration history, illustrated

The Migration Policy Institute released some updated charts yesterday illustrating the historical movement of people into the United States, and seeing the trends mapped out - in some cases going back to 1820 - is rather fascinating.

A streamlined DREAM Act moves forward

The American Immigration Lawyers Association sent a notice to its members this morning with details of a tighter, more restrictive version of the DREAM Act introduced in the Senate last night.

In the news this morning: DREAM Act demonstrations, Tequila Party commentary, empanadas used in self-defense, more

Groups Make Late Push to Salvage Bill Aiding Illegal Immigrant Students - New York Times Immigrant advocates have mobilized nationwide in a last-ditch effort to persuade Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which would allow a path to legal status for undocumented youths who attend college or join the military.

Undocumented and afraid, part 2

In my previous post, I explained my rationale in going forward with a young undocumented college student's story after he requested that he remain anonymous.

Undocumented and afraid, part 1

Much has been written lately about the college students who are coming out about their immigration status in support of the DREAM Act, proposed legislation that would allow undocumented students like themselves, or those who join the military, a path to legal status if they meet several criteria, including having arrived in the United States as minors under 16.

The art of the DREAM Act movement

ColorLines has posted a collection of art inspired by the DREAM Act, the proposed legislation pending a vote in Congress that would allow qualifying college students and military recruits who are undocumented to obtain conditional legal status.

In the news this morning: DREAM Act updates, Tequila Party, a New Mexico hate crime, more

15 charged over immigration protest in San Antonio - Houston Chronicle The arrests took place during a demonstration by supporters of the DREAM Act, proposed federal legislation that would provide access to legalization for undocumented youths who go to college or join the military.

Audio from today's Patt Morrison show: The DREAM Act and student activism

In recent weeks I've posted several stories and updates related to the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow a path to legal status for undocumented young people who attend college or enlist in the military.

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.