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

Jose Antonio Vargas: 'I'm an American, I just don't have the right papers'

The man behind what has by far been the biggest immigration story of the week, Pulitzer-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, sent out this tweet a little while ago:

Why a Pulitzer winner is coming out as undocumented

Revealing one's undocumented status as a political act has so far been embraced mostly by college students, young people eager to put a face on those who would benefit from proposed legislation known as the Dream Act.

In the news this morning: Latinos and redistricting, a journalist comes out, Georgia replaces farm workers with probationers, more

Hispanic groups dispute new Calif. political maps - San Jose Mercury News Latino advocacy groups in California are alarmed about new political maps that sketch proposed boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts, saying the changes will disenfranchise the fastest-growing segment of the population.

The complications of 'A Better Life' in the shadows

Today's Los Angeles Times featured an interview with Chris Weitz, the director of a new feature film that reveals one of the many complicated facets of life in the United States without papers.

Secure Communities reform: Does anyone benefit?

It's been a few days since U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced planned reforms to its embattled Secure Communities enforcement program, which allows the fingerprints of people booked into local jails to be shared with immigration authorities.

In the news this morning: Visa lottery lawsuit, a red-blue divide on immigration, minority education, Baptists for immigration reform, more

California lawyer sues State Dept. over revoked green card lottery - CNN A Los Angeles immigration lawyer has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of several people who were notified they had won a federal green card lottery, but whose hopes were dashed after the agency tossed out the results.

Report: The world's poorest countries host the most refugees

Today is World Refugee Day, and to mark it, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has released a report detailing where people displaced from their native countries by war, famine, political upheaval and other crises have sought shelter.

Dropping the 'Americanized' nickname

I've been catching up on my reading after a few busy days in Florida spent at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention, and among the great items I've sifted through is an interesting post on WAMU’s DCentric blog about ‘Americanized’ nicknames.

In the news this morning: Secure Communities reform plans, fewer workers as GA law looms, McCain blames fires on border crossers, more

ICE announces Secure Communities reforms - Florida Independent Planned changes announced to the immigration enforcement program include refining it to focus to serious criminals, better training of local law enforcement, and addressing potential civil rights concerns.

'The New American Reality' (Video)

One of the visual highlights today at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention in Orlando, Florida was a video produced by Univision, shown during a lunchtime panel on Spanish-language media and intended to drive home its importance as a way of reaching the vast and growing Latino market.

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.