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

'A crime to dream the American dream?' Reaction to 'Dreamers' and their support network

A post from last Friday detailing how undocumented youths have been using social media to build a support network - and in some cases, to fight deportation - was  widely circulated over the weekend.

Five things to read on the one-year anniversary of SB 1070

A year ago Saturday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law the controversial measure known as SB 1070. Among other things, this stringent anti-illegal immigration law was to empower local police to check the immigration status of people they stopped if there was "reasonable suspicion" to believe they were in the country illegally, make it necessary for immigrants to carry their documents, and made it difficult to hire or work as a day laborer.

The cultural mashup dictionary: Twittear and Feisbuk

A recent post on the neologism Googlear has inspired two related entries to Multi-American's evolving cultural mashup dictionary: The social media mashup terms Twittear and Feisbuk.

In the news this morning: A year of SB 1070, Secure Communities controversy continues, O.C. solidarity protest for Syria, more

SB1070 one year later: Debate rages on - KTAR.com Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration law was signed into law April 23 of last year. The state remains bitterly divided over the measure, which is tied up in the courts with its major provisions not yet in effect.

'Dreamers' and social media: It's not your parents’ immigrant support network

On Wednesday, a young woman who is a law student at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. tweeted this message:

'Why don't you date people of your color?' A male perspective

In a popular post last week, guest blogger and KPCC's OnCentral blog editor Kim Bui took on a particularly thorny question among the many that surround interracial dating: "Why do you only date white men?"

In the news this morning: SB 1070 a year later, immigrant groups protest in Culver City, detention center riot in Australia, more

A Year Later, Arizona Still Split Over Immigration - NPR A year after Arizona's stringent SB 1070 was signed into law, its most controversial components remain hung up in court. Still, supporters call it a success, while opponents say it's been a disaster.

Armenian American grocery shoppers, representing

In the past few days, L.A.'s vast but often underrepresented Armenian American community has been representing in force in Multi-American's comments section.

Quote of the moment: L.A. as 'the vanguard of a new definition of what makes us American'

A series of recent posts that began with the questions printed on the floor at a new Los Angeles museum has sparked a good conversation that I'd like to keep going.

In the news this morning: Fewer border crossings, employer immigration crackdown, proposed national Latino museum, more

Border crossings: Plunge in illegal crossers leaves agents fighting boredom - Los Angeles Times Border infrastructure that includes stadium lighting, triple fencing, and more border agents - plus the economic recession - are credited with a steep drop in illegal crossings along the southwest border since 2000.

Today's immigration segment on KPCC's Madeleine Brand Show (Audio)

This morning I appeared on KPCC's Madeleine Brand Show to provide a rundown of what's happening in immigration news, including the continuing activism of undocumented college students and graduates who would have been eligible for the Dream Act.

'Ecuadorean by birth, Mexican American by accident...and Angeleno by geographic location'

A post yesterday on the unexpected questions scattered around the new LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes museum in downtown Los Angeles - some of them printed on the floor - prompted a response from reader Diego Cardoso that resonated with me, as it might with other readers.

Video: Russia on Sunset Boulevard

In this video from KPCC's Grant Slater, filmmaker Robin Hessman discusses her film "My Perestroika," which tells the stories of five Russians who came of age during the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In the news this morning: The 'last-minute' D.C. immigration meeting, Sheriff Baca and L.A. Muslims, unauthorized workers and taxes, more

LA leaders at White House for immigration meeting - 89.3 KPCC Immigration reform, the topic of what was described as a “last-minute meeting” at the White House yesterday, hasn’t placed high on the list of Congressional priorities.

A White House immigration 'call to action,' but no breakthroughs

Early news reports have been describing President Obama's immigration meeting this afternoon with several dozen elected officials, law enforcement, business, civil rights, religious and other leaders, all invited to the White House to discuss the prospect of a broad overhaul of the nation's immigration system.