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

OC in color: The ethnicity map

Last month I posted a color-coded map of the Los Angeles area based on race and ethnicity, the work of artist Eric Fischer, who has created a series of similar maps of U.S. cities based on 2000 Census data.

Quote of the moment: On the ascent of the Chilean miners

"May God help all of them to get out. The Atacama desert is unforgiving. Some 60 years ago, God saved my own life when my truck rolled over in the proximity of that mine. I barely got to Copiapo, drenched in black gasoil, but uninjured.

American snapshots: The cultural club

Yesterday I posted a single photo from a weekend verbena - a big party, essentially - at the Sociedad José Martí, a Cuban cultural club in Hawthorne founded by then-new immigrants more than 40 years ago.

In the news this morning: Oaxacan mezcal, immigration in key elections, SB 1070 challenge to move forward

Mexican hard liquor on the rise in Los Angeles | 89.3 KPCC Oaxacan mezcal, a close cousin of tequila made from the same agave plant, is gaining popularity.

The border in Boyle Heights

Seeing the new play "Detained in the Desert" this weekend in at the Casa 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights was a bit like being transported back to my recent previous life as a reporter covering the U.

Online reaction to Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Peace Prize win at once fascinating, unsettling

Among the most interesting aspects of the response to jailed Chinese political dissident Liu Xiaobo’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize last week (aside from the Chinese government’s predicted angry reaction, President Obama’s call for his release, and sadly, the subsequent house-arrest detention of Liu’s wife) has been the heated exchanges online in recent days in reaction to the news, with a mix of immigrants and others chiming in with strong opinions about the award, communism, U.

American snapshot: Hawthorne

Multi-American

In the news this morning: Immigrant advocates goes local, ICE fingerprint program, race in the 47th District, more

Immigration advocacy goes local - USATODAY.com With the prospect of comprehensive immigration reform waning, advocacy groups are focusing their efforts on local communities.

Q&A: A former labor watchdog on contractors, clients, and illegal hiring

The illegal hiring scandals that have landed both Meg Whitman and Lou Dobbs in hot water in the course of just over a week have placed a spotlight on the role of employers in illegal immigration, bringing up questions about how involved employers need to be in verifying workers' legal status, and whether it's even possible to avoid unauthorized workers in an economy that depends on low-wage help.

American snapshot: Alhambra

In keeping with yesterday's post, a commercial sign that hints at the ethnic mix in Alhambra, home now to a community news website published in English, Spanish and Mandarin. I've been encountering this sign during my commute north since starting here during the summer.

In the news this morning: A deportation mess, Dobbs vs. The Nation, Angle on Muslims, the Pennsylvania hate beating

How Immigration Reform Got Caught in the Deportation Dragnet - COLORLINES How a young Texan born in Bangladesh wound up deported after a quick trip to Mexico.

Ouch: "Perhaps Lou & Mage (sic) Whitman use the same staffing firm?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp3jg_V3o9I

American snapshot: Christmas in Alhambra

Santa flies Old Glory outside a Latino household in the San Gabriel Valley majority minority city, whose population is about half Asian and a third Latino. Alhambra recently became home to a multilingual community news website in English, Spanish and Mandarin.

In the news this morning: Lou Dobbs' hiring practices, Meg Whitman's maid, record deportations and more

Report: Lou Dobbs Used Illegal Immigrant Labor - Political Hotsheet - CBS News The "what the..." story of the moment: CBS' take on The Nation's investigation (below) into Dobbs' hiring practices.

An Arizona-style initiative in California?

Shortly before Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration measure was signed into law last spring, I spoke with a few political experts about what sort of ripple effect it might have.