Leslie Berestein Rojas Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter

Leslie Berestein-Rojas
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

'Deportation pyramid' illustrates effects of deportation on children

The Journal of Marriage and Family has a fascinating new article on the effects of deportation on kids. The author, sociologist Joanna Dreby of New York's University of Albany, presents what's titled a "deportation pyramid," something she describes as similar to an "injury pyramid" used by public health professionals, to illustrate how children experience deportation and the threat of it.

In the news this morning: DHS expands database access for 'voter roll cleansing,' bill aims to keep deportees' families together, more

Feds expanding state access to immigration database for purpose of voter roll cleansing - Washington Post From the story: "Homeland Security Department representatives first notified Florida officials last week that they could check to see if registered voters are actually noncitizens who should not be eligible to cast a ballot.

‘Deportation pyramid’ illustrates its effects on children

A new study on the effects of deportation of children suggests that these go beyond the removal of an immigrant parent, with kids burdened by the simple fear of it occurring.

Fiat commercial's Italian 'immigrant' cars actually come from Mexico (Video)

There's much that's amusing about the new Fiat 500 commercial titled "Immigrants," which shows the little cars diving and driving into the water in Italy to emerge from the ocean in New York, with the Statue of Liberty reflected in one car's windshield.

New federal bill aims to keep children of deportees with family

A measure voted on last spring by the California Senate that could allow some immigrants in deportation to hold onto their children, avoiding the foster care system, has been joined at the federal level by a similar federal House bill.

The looming battle over Secure Communities and 'immigration detainers'

It's a matter of time before the long-brewing battle between local and state officials and the federal government over Secure Communities turns into one waged in the courts, suggests Adam Sorensen in a must-read piece today in TIME Magazine.

Bill aims to keep children of deportees with their families

A new federal House bill proposes amending federal law to make it easier for the relatives of children whose parents are in deportation to act as legal guardians, and more difficult to terminate deportees' parental rights.

In the news this morning: Asian American political representation, high schools failing students of color, 'immigrant' cars, more

With surging numbers, Asian-Americans look for congressional gains - CNN One nonpartisan political group cites three times as many Asian-Americans running for Congress in 2012 than in the past two elections, reflecting the nation's greater demographic changes.

Posts of the week: The underrepresented 'model minority,' how SB 1070 ruling is settling in other states, longest waits for immigrant visas,

This week's posts ran the gamut from backlash over a recent report on Asian Americans to how the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law is settling in states with similar crackdown measures.

Immigrants in the workforce: One in six U.S. workers is foreign born

The data crunchers at the Migration Policy Institute have updated a series of facts on the U.S. workforce and the role of immigrants in it, based on census numbers. It presents a pretty informative picture of who powers the American economy and where they come from.

In the news this morning: Migration from Central America, U.S. citizen alleges he was misidentified as deportable immigrant, more

Central Americans flood north through Mexico to US - Minnesota Public Radio Violence and poverty have been spurring more migrants to leave Central America for the United States, even as northbound migration from Mexico has dropped.

Show explores Los Angeles via its foreign roots

This could turn out to be cool: A TV show that traces different aspects of Los Angeles' polyglot culture back to immigrant roots. KCET is launching "Global L.A.," a partnership with the popular travel series Globe Trekker.

How the SB 1070 Supreme Court ruling is making its way through the states

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Arizona's SB 1070 late last month, striking down three provisions of the state anti-illegal immigration law while upholding its most controversial one, other states with SB 1070-style laws have been weighing how the decision applies to them.

Note to green card seekers: Avoid the tattoo parlor

The Wall Street Journal has a piece today on how some hopeful legal residents have been turned down for green cards because their tattoos raised suspicion of gang or other criminal affiliation, although some insist they just like tattoos.

In the news this morning: Obama and Romney on immigration, SB 1070 and Latino voters, more

Where They Stand: Obama, Romney On Immigration - NPR A side-by-side comparison of the immigration policies and attitudes of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger for the White House.