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

More ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: Spam musubi

Hawaiian cuisine is perhaps the original Asian fusion cuisine, a mix of tastes that has evolved over centuries of immigration to the islands.

An unfortunate computer glitch puts the 'visa lottery' on the map

Last week, a computer glitch dashed the hopes of tens of thousands of immigrants who had hoped to come legally to the United States - and put one of the quirkier programs within the U.

In the news this morning: California's changing face, states and Secure Communities, the NSEERS program comes to an end, more

California's Latino and Asian populations rise while white declines - Sacramento Bee California's ethnic mix is shifting not only because there are greater numbers of Latinos and Asians, but because there are fewer whites.

The Arab Spring in the Southland (Video)

It has been nearly six months since a Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire in protest after a confrontation with police. His desperate act sparked a series of pro-democracy protests that have since engulfed the Middle East, driving masses into the streets and toppling governments.

Top ten secrets of the Latin American supermarket

Moving past the piñata section at a Superior warehouse store in Bell, Calif. Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Understanding the escalating controversy over Secure Communities

A heated controversy over the federal immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities has been brewing since last year, when several local jurisdictions around the country tried to opt out of the program, only to learn they couldn't.

In the news this morning: Migrant dangers in Mexico, state immigration laws, Secure Communities and domestic violence, more

Mexico migrants: Mexico immigration agency fires top officials amid reports of collusion with kidnappers - Los Angeles Times The head of the agency announces steps to tighten and speed screening of immigration agents in states traversed most often by Central American migrants en route to the United States.

Goodbye Encarnación, hello Estefany

The website for Telemundo's Mun2 channel recently posted an amusing slideshow on the evolution of baby names in Spanish, from old-fashioned traditional names with a religious bent like Encarnación and Guadalupe to English names filtered through Spanish, à la Estefany, Yenifer and Jhonatan.

Digging into the new Dream Act

The latest version of the federal Dream Act that Senate Democrats plan to introduce is, at least for now, fairly similar to the version approved by the House last December.

Report: U.S. population growth almost exclusively minority-driven

We already know that Latinos accounted for more than half the nation's population growth in the last decade.

In the news this morning: Federal Dream Act, Secure Communities controversy, more

Senate’s top Democrat sees path for DREAM Act in possible immigration enforcement legislation - The Washington Post Senate Democrats announced yesterday that they will reintroduce a bill that would grant conditional legal status to some undocumented youths brought here at minors, but it faces long odds; Sen.

American snapshot: Glendale

Is Glendale helping preserve a language? There are different but similar versions of Armenian spoken by the Armenian diaspora. Western Armenian, which is spoken by many immigrants who came to the United States, is considered by UNESCO to be in danger of extinction.

'Future doctors, soldiers, journalists:' The federal Dream Act returns

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

In the news this morning: The Dream Act returns, Obama on immigration reform in El Paso, Utah immigration law blocked, more

Democrats to reintroduce DREAM Act - Scott Wong - Politico Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and other Democrats are announcing the reintroduction of the bill this morning. The proposed legislation would grant conditional legal status to certain undocumented youths who arrived as minors.

God, country, or both? A reader's take on the American Muslims-Muslim Americans quandary

A guest post yesterday examined the uncomfortable position in which Muslims in the United States have found themselves during the past decade, forced to defend their patriotism in the post-9/11 era.