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

A mixed-race lineage more complicated than imagined: On the implications of President Obama's possible link to a slave

Author Erin Aubry Kaplan has written a thoughtful piece for the Los Angeles Times on a fascinating recent genealogical find: According to researchers at Ancestry.com, President Obama may likely be a descendant of the first black man to be defined as a slave in the early American colonies - and not via the African side of his family.

More young people may qualify for deferred action than previously thought

Now that Homeland Security officials have issued detailed guidelines on who may may qualify for deferred action, temporary legal status that young undocumented immigrants can apply for under a new Obama administration plan, it looks like there could be more applicants in the pipeline than estimated before.

American snapshot: Halal teriyaki Mexican ramen?

Yes, it does exist. Blogger/sociology grad student Calvin Ho posted this on his Asian diasporas blog, The Plaid Bag Connection:

Should the census change how Latinos are counted?

The U.S. Census Bureau is experimenting with new ways for Latinos to identify themselves on census forms. In 2010, they were asked to identify by race, then by ethnicity.

In the news this morning: Florida undocumented law school grad gets good news, white-power music and the Sikh temple shooting, more

Undocumented Immigrant Can be Lawyer, Florida Bar Says - Fox News Latino The Florida Board of Bar Examiners has concluded that Jose Godinez-Samperio, an undocumented law school graduate who arrived in the U.

More young immigrants may qualify for legal status than previously thought

According to a new estimate that takes in recently-released Homeland Security guidelines, an additional 350,000 young immigrants may qualify for temporary legal status under a new policy.

A Sikh on 'mistaken identity' after Sunday's shooting: Do different shades of otherness matter when people hate?

In a blog post that cuts painfully deep, English professor and blogger Amardeep Singh gets into the mistaken-identity story behind the deadly shooting rampage Sunday at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that left seven people dead, among them the gunman, a known white supremacist.

A legal expert interprets the new DHS deferred action guidelines for young immigrants

On Friday, officials from U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement released new guidelines on that they're calling “deferred action for childhood arrivals,” DACA for short. Since mid-June, when the Obama administration announced it would allow young undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria to apply for temporary legal status and work permits, the agency has been working to formalize the application process and clear up a long list of questions.

In the news this morning: Sikhs lament being targeted, the UndocuBus, a immigration crackdown in Greece, more

Mourning Victims, Sikhs Lament Being Mistaken for Radicals or Militants - New York Times Sunday's shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin left seven people dead, including the shooter, a known white supremacist.

A legal expert interprets new DHS deferred action guidelines

A legal interpretation of new Homeland Security guidelines, released Friday, for young undocumented immigrants seeking temporary legal status under a new policy.

A slowdown in state immigration bills introduced, enacted

The recent crush of state laws related to immigration continues to slow, and just as Arizona's SB 1070 helped fuel it, the legal trajectory of the trendsetting 2010 anti-illegal immigration law has helped slow it down.

Timeline lists several attacks against Sikhs since 9/11

In response to the tragic mass shooting yesterday at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin by a man believed to be a white supremacist, BuzzFeed has compiled a timeline of anti-Sikh violence in the United States since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

In the news this morning: Temple shooter named as white supremacist, fewer state immigration laws, Lin on being Asian in the NBA, more

Sikh temple shooter identified as Wade Michael Page, white supremacist - Christian Science Monitor The shooter who left seven people dead at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin on Sunday, before he was killed by police, has been identified as an Army veteran and former leader of a white-power band.

A slowdown in state immigration laws introduced, enacted

There has been a 40 percent drop in state immigration-related bills introduced between Jan. 1 and June 30 of this year in comparison with a year earlier, a new report says.

Timeline lists several attacks against Sikhs since 9/11

Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Sikhs have faced violence along with Muslims, who they are sometimes mistaken for.