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

L.A. votes to support a Secure Communities opt-out

Los Angeles city leaders have become the latest elected officials to shun the federal Secure Communities immigration enforcement program, which allows for the fingerprints of people booked into local jails to be shared with immigration authorities.

From readers, more 'tears' over scrapped visa lottery results

A post yesterday told the story of "22,000 Tears," a Facebook page set up by disappointed would-be immigrants to the United States who learned in early May that they had won immigrant visas in an annual federal lottery, then were soon informed there had been a computer error and that the lottery results would be voided.

Who had to wait the longest for a green card this month?

Now that it's June, it's time for another look at the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin. Who has been waiting the longest time for an immigrant visa this month?

In the news this morning: California's in-state tuition law upheld, Massachusetts shuns Secure Communities, Utah 'hit list' case, more

Supreme Court ruling on tuition for immigrant students likely to bolster legislation nationwide - Los Angeles Times The U.S. Supreme Court decided yesterday that California may continue granting reduced in-state tuition to college students who are undocumented.

Disappointed winners of scratched visa lottery cry '22,000 Tears'

Last month, when the U.S. State Department scratched the results of its 2012 green card lottery due to a computer glitch, thousands of hopeful immigrants who had thought they'd won a chance to live in the United States were crushed to learn they wouldn't be coming here after all.

In L.A.'s Boyle Heights, hyperlocal news comes in print

An interesting experiment in bilingual journalism is taking place east of the L.A. River in Boyle Heights, this one with a sweetly old-fashioned component: a print edition.

In the news this morning: Immigration and same-sex couples, a review of the green card lottery, Latinos going to federal prison, more

Same-sex marriage: U.S. immigration policies cause some same-sex couples to live abroad - Los Angeles Times While straight American citizens can obtain green cards for their spouses and fiances, the Defense of Marriage Act has precluded same-sex couples from receiving the same benefits.

LAPD chief on Secure Communities: 'It tends to cause a divide'

Los Angeles' chief of police is less than gung-ho about a controversial immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities, a federal fingerprint-sharing program that has drawn complaints from some law enforcement and state officials, while it is embraced by others.

In the news this morning: An Arizona-style bill in Alabama, the hip imam, Georgia seeks farm labor, the 'Emboricuate' beer scandal, more

Alabama passes Arizona-like immigration bill, intensifies hiring regulations for businesses - New York Daily News State legislators approved a state immigration bill Thursday that allows police officers to detain drivers who have committed a traffic violation if there is "reasonable suspicion" that they are in the state illegally, and requires that all businesses to verify the legal status of their employees.

Mitt Romney, the son of a chihuahuense?

Buried at the bottom of an Associated Press story that ran in the El Paso Times today is a nugget that Latino tweeters have been seizing on: Mitt Romney's dad was from Chihuahua.

California's latest private immigrant detention center

As California grapples with how to reduce its prison population, there is one group of inmates that keeps expanding: federal immigration detainees, a growing number of then held by private jailers.

In the news this morning: Migrants missing off Tunisia, Georgia immigration law challenged, immigrant detention in Adelanto, CA and more

More than 200 immigrants missing off Tunisia coast - The Associated Press At least 200 are reported to be missing and two are dead after a fishing boat carrying hundreds of immigrants that set off from Libya sank off the coast of Tunisia in a storm.

Latinos and population growth: Five interesting tidbits

News about the nation's growing Latino population has been rolling out almost continuously since the results of the 2010 Census were announced late last year.

How to curb illegal hiring? Mimic some characteristics of illegal immigration

A new report from the Migration Policy Institute that was funded by the European Union addresses the never-ending quandary over unauthorized workers, as much of an issue in Europe as it is in the United States.

In the news this morning: Secure Communities in NY and SF, the 'Tequila Party,' a Latino majority in many cities, Russell Pearce recall, mor

Cuomo To Pull New York Out Of Secure Communities Program - NY1 Governor Andrew Cuomo will at least temporarily pull New York out of the federal Secure Communities immigration enforcement program pending a review.