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

Video: 'I am undocumented'

A young man who arrived in the United States as a small child after he and his mother left Medellín, Colombia tells his story. The video, from last year, is featured in a "coming out" guide put together by Dream Act advocates for a "National Coming Out of the Shadows" week March 14-21.

More Dream Act students prepare to 'come out'

This week, some undocumented students, graduates and others are expected to reprise the actions of other student activists last year with a risky move: going public with their immigration status.

Utah bucks a trend by letting undocumented immigrants work

Last Friday, Utah became the first state to pass its own guest-worker bill, and one of two states lately to weigh anti-illegal immigration legislation that makes a work-related exception for undocumented immigrants.

In the news this morning: Utah's guest worker plan, lawsuit over foreign same-sex spouses, White House to reassures Muslims, more

Utah Republicans Adopt Alternative Approach on Immigration - New York Times Utah has broken ranks with other states cracking down on illegal immigration by passing immigration bills that include a guest worker program which would allow unauthorized immigrants to work legally.

Before Banksy, the running family was immigration icon and art

If you don't live in California, you might not be familiar with the road sign that has become synonymous with illegal immigration and immigration in general, and that has spawned countless interpretations over the years.

An exception for 'the help' in an anti-illegal immigration bill: good, bad, or ugly reality?

An anti-illegal immigration bill introduced recently in Texas proposing tough state sanctions against employers who hire unauthorized workers makes an exception: It's okay to hire an undocumented maid, gardener, or other employee "for the purpose of obtaining labor or other work to be performed exclusively or primarily at a single-family residence.

In the news this morning: The least Latino state, Dream Act protesters cleared, another record for immigration bills, CA Muslims targeted, m

What is the LEAST Latino State in the Union? - Fox News Latino The 2010 Census results may be showing large Latino population growth in many states, but in West Virginia, the sound of Spanish is still a rarity.

Census: Ten states with the biggest Latino population growth so far

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

20 years after the Rodney King beating: Different takes on what's changed, what hasn't

It's been 20 years today since the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers, an incident captured on grainy video by George Holliday, a resident of Lake View Terrace who heard the commotion and captured the beating from his balcony.

In the news this morning: L.A. 20 years after the King beating, Latino cops sue for discrimination, CA census results due out soon, more

Latino Cops, MALDEF Sue California Police Department - Fox News Latino Several Latino officers are suing the police department in Westminster for discrimination and violation of labor rights, saying they were denied promotions and special assignments because they are Latino.

Video: Running migrant family guerilla art in L.A., pre-Banksy

A post yesterday on a pre-Banksy artistic rendering of the running migrant family freeway sign - one of innumerable pre-Banksy versions, actually - is now in turn inspiring art submissions.

Among 'psycho-emotional' effects of immigration on kids: Communication breakdown

The immigrant advocacy blog Project Economic Refugee has featured a much-tweeted Q&A with Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, the author of a new book titled Listen to the Children: Conversations with Immigrant Families.

In the news this morning: More state bills copy SB 1070, minority vs. undocumented workers, Supreme Court takes on post-911 case, more

Fourteen States Weighing Bills Modeled After Arizona’s SB 1070 - ColorLines At least 14 state legislatures have introduced bills similar to SB 1070 in the current legislative session, with legislators undeterred by the lawsuits that have kept Arizona from completely implementing the law.

American snapshot: 'Educación'

Street artist Banksy was only the latest to take on the iconic running migrant family freeway sign. Here is the sign as reinterpreted by Southern California artist Luis Genaro Garcia, who has made a few versions of the image.

Will 'Blank-sy' contest inspire more immigration-themed art?

Will an online contest to "fill in" the space left on a Boyle Heights wall after street artist Banksy's version of the running-family migrant freeway sign draw more immigration-themed political art?