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

On Los Angeles as an 'Arrival City'

En route to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention from LAX to Orlando yesterday, I had a chance to read part of "Arrival City," a book by British journalist Doug Saunders that tells the story of worldwide migration through an exploration of the cities that have been transformed by it.

In the news this morning: Spanish language U.S. coverage expands, Rep. King's hearing on Islam and prisons, Texas 'sanctuary' bill, more

Spanish TV news expands as 2012 election nears - Associated Press Spanish-language television news has greatly expanded its domestic coverage this year, just in time for the 2012 election season.

Greetings from the Sunshine State

I’ve just arrived in Orlando, Florida, where I’ll be spending the next couple of days participating in this year’s National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention. I'll be speaking on two panels related to immigration, so if any Multi-American readers are in town, stop by and say hello.

New federal E-Verify bill seeks crackdown on unauthorized hiring

Proposed legislation called the Legal Workforce Act of 2011 was introduced today in the House of Representatives by Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas. The bill seeks to make mandatory and expand the now-voluntary program known as E-Verify, an online system that allows employers to check employees' legal authorization to work.

Getting Spammed: The love keeps on coming for Spam musubi

When I featured Hawaii's Spam musubi last month on a list of unsung ethnic delicacies, I never imagined the reaction it would provoke among readers and the general public.

In the news today: Immigration is top issue for Latinos, another round of Muslim hearings, replacing farm workers with convicts, more

Immigration Replaces Economy as Top Latino Issue - Wall Street Journal Latino voters in a national poll placed immigration as a top policy issue, above the economy and jobs.

The cultural mashup dictionary: Tweecanos

I've never met @xicano007, but a tweet from this East L.A. blogger and sports card collector brings us yet another entry for our evolving dictionary of cultural mashup terms: tweecanas and tweecanos.

Obama and immigration: More details from a poll of Latino voters

The results of a nationwide poll of Latino voters released last week found immigration to be a personal issue for many. Among other things, out of a sample of 500 registered voters in 21 states, 53 percent said they knew someone who is undocumented, and one-fourth said they knew a person or family who has faced immigrant detention or deportation.

In the news this morning: Latinos and redistricting, convicted BART officer released, a difficult decade for American Muslims, more

California redistricting: Latinos fret over redrawn map of California congressional districts - Los Angeles Times The executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials calls the proposed new maps of congressional districts the "worst-case scenario for Latinos in California.

Zebra print? Masks? The quinceañera has come a long way

Last Sunday I attended a quinceañera expo in Garden Grove for KPCC's Madeleine Brand Show, interviewing a few of the dozens of vendors who were there catering to parents of teenage girls preparing for the ultimate Latin American coming-of-age ritual.

Making sense of Alabama's new immigration law: Three good reads

Nearly a year after Arizona's SB 1070 took effect last July, the immigration spotlight has shifted to Alabama, where yesterday the governor signed an anti-illegal immigration law that is being described as the nation's most stringent yet.

Immigration issues hit home for Latino voters

Since early this year, the polling firm Latino Decisions has been working with impreMedia, parent company of the Spanish-language Los Angeles newspaper La Opinión, to produce a series of tracking polls measuring Latinos voters' attitudes.

In the news this morning: Alabama immigration law is nation's strictest, an immigration scam crackdown, immigrants and the economy, more

Alabama Illegal Immigration Law Tougher Than Arizona's - Fox News Latino Among other things, schools will have to check if students are in the country legally, and people stopped for any reason could be arrested on suspicion of immigration violations.

Second-generation restaurateurs, back in the kitchen

For the children of immigrants, the traditional food one was raised on provided more than sustenance. Into adulthood, it remains a connection to our parents and grandparents. Its familiar tastes and smells take us back to homes that were a piece of the old country in the new.

Immigrants with college degrees outnumber those without high school diplomas

A new report out today from the Brookings Institution notes what for many might be a surprising revelation: In the United States, immigrants with college degrees now outnumber those who didn't complete high school.