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

Meet L.A.'s curbside Valentine vendors

Just before Valentine’s Day each year, a small army of immigrant entrepreneurs stakes out street corners, freeway off-ramps, tables outside established businesses or just busy stretches of sidewalk, spreading out small loads of romance-themed gifts for sale.

American snapshot: Boyle Heights

The stickers on a truck driving along the 101 interchange through Boyle Heights get at the long-running debate over how to identify those of us with ancestry from Latin America: Latino, Hispanic, or simply as from wherever it is our roots are, like Mexicano?

In the news this morning: A different Arizona immigration bill, MALDEF president a possibility for CA high court, Persian classes at USC, mo

Hearing set on bill requiring hospitals to check patients' immigration status - Arizona Republic The state senate bill would require hospitals to confirm that someone is in the country legally before the person is admitted for non-emergency care, and that if not, that the hospital notify immigration officials.

Five Valentine meals to share with your amor

Forget momentarily about chocolate, oysters and the rest of the usual food suggestions that accompany Valentine’s Day, about aphrodisiacs and expensive dinners. As a favor to lovestruck foodies in the Los Angeles area, a few colleagues and I recently came up with an unscientific but well-loved list of some of the best date-friendly offerings to come out of our immigrant enclaves.

'It kind of took me by surprise:' Egyptian American voices

Last night, in one of the crowded hookah lounges that dot an Anaheim neighborhood known as Little Arabia, I came across a table of Egyptian immigrants tensely watching Al Jazeera via satellite, a group of friends grumbling over a shared smoke and many cups of hibiscus tea.

American snapshot: Egyptian pride in Anaheim

Said, 28, told KPCC reporter Shirley Jahad this morning that his family was in Cairo's Tahrir Square, and that "the biggest flag of Egypt is in his heart."

'Yes we can and we did it:' Egypt supporters react on Facebook

Since news broke earlier this morning of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's resignation after 18 days of protests that have spread around the country, people have been posting comments on the many Facebook pages that have sprung up in support of the demonstrators.

Growing up as a Korean-born African American

KoreAm magazine beat me this week to an interview I'd been looking forward to, and they did a great job with it. The magazine featured a profile of Emile Mack, one of the top-ranking firefighters in the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Latinos on losing end of the 'digital divide'

A new Pew Hispanic Center study finds that U.S. Latinos are still on the losing end of the long-reported "digital divide," with Latinos less likely to have Internet access than non-Latino whites, or to have a home broadband connection or a cell phone.

In the news this morning: Egypt update, Latinos and redistricting, worksite immigration enforcement, 'Smuggle Truck' and more

Egyptian official: Mubarak will yield power to military - CNN Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is expected to make an announcement Thursday night, according to a senior government official.

1970 documentary captured Chicano Moratorium protest


Young Egyptian Americans identify with crisis from afar

LA's Egyptians mobilized with protesters at home from 89.3 KPCC on Vimeo.

In the news this morning: Arizona birthright bill to return, Salazar files set to be released, Dream Act students worry after going public,

Egypt: Protesters swell, drawn by Google's Wael Ghonim - Los Angeles Times After being detained for 12 days, the freed Google executive has turned into "an icon of Egyptian resistance.

Readers' thoughts on the birthright citizenship debate

Over the weekend, NPR featured a post that summarized a series on the birthright citizenship battle that appeared recently on Multi-American. The response from readers since has been phenomenal, with a long string of informed, if impassioned, comments.

First Arizona anti-birthright citizenship bills falter in state Senate

State Senate legislation in Arizona that sought to deny automatic U.S. citizenship to children born to undocumented immigrants failed to register enough support in a committee hearing late yesterday, leading its sponsor to pull the two bills, at least for now.