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

Sequestration: How much does ICE save by releasing immigrant detainees?

It costs more to hold an immigrant in a detention facility than some Americans earn for a day's work. In 2011, ICE's average cost to detain one individual was almost $113 per day.

In immigration news: GOP leader opposed to 'path to citizenship,' ICE detainee releases, the immigrant visa line, more

Key House GOP player against 'path to citizenship' - NBC News House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia has told reporters that he supports a path to "legal status," but not to citizenship, as President Obama and other lawmakers have said they favor in immigration reform talks.

More than 2 million undocumented immigrants call California home

About 10 percent of California's workforce is undocumented. That's the highest concentration of undocumented workers in the U.S.

In immigration news: ICE releases detainees ahead of spending cuts, a 'virtual march' for reform, more

Wave of immigrants released ahead of automatic spending cuts - New York Times The federal sequester spending cuts due to kick in Friday have yet to take place, but immigration officials have already been letting some immigrants held in detention centers out on supervised release as a money-saving effort.

In immigration news: Reform roadblocks, how sequester affects immigration, what constitutes a 'secure' border, more

Signs of immigration roadblocks in Congress - Politico While there continues to be momentum, with the Senate "Gang of Eight" reform proposal expected by mid-March, there is dissent in the GOP ranks.

Californians' attitudes toward driver's licenses for undocumented have softened

20 years after undocumented immigrants were barred from obtaining licenses, a majority of poll respondents are now in favor.

In immigration news: The millions-long 'line' for visas, immigration reform and native-born workers, more

'The line' for legal immigration is already about 4 million people long - NPR More on what lawmakers mean when they refer to 'the back of the line' in immigration reform talks. It's a place where hopeful immigrants can languish for many years in visa backlogs; hear one local family's story here.

A dramatic rise in Latinos' support for Obama

A new survey has 63 percent of Latinos approving Obama's handling of immigration issues, a major shift from only 28 percent in late 2011.

In immigration news: Economists on immigration policy, internal debate in the GOP, a poll that favors deportation, more

Three ways to totally transform U.S. immigration policy - NPR Three economists on how to transform immigration policy and what makes the most economic sense: allowing more visas to high-skilled workers, including more low-skilled workers, or simply letting immigrants in with few restrictions.

In immigration news: Long citizenship wait under Obama plan, the 'back of the line,' Arizona senators back in debate, more

Undocumented immigrants would have 13-year wait for citizenship under Obama plan - Washington Post Under a White House immigration reform plan leaked to press over the weekend, the path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants would begin with “Lawful Prospective Immigrant Status" and culminate with citizenship after a wait of at least 13 years.

The back of the immigrant line can be endless

The story of a would-be immigrant, and the visa backlogs that have kept her in limbo for decades, illustrates the long waits people face to enter the U.S.

Immigration news: White House reform plan, Arizona arrests

A roundup of immigration-related news from Washington and the rest of the country.

Report: A snapshot of US Latinos today, by the numbers

A new report provides statistical details behind the way the nation's largest ethnic group is evolving in its role within the U.S. population.

In immigration news: ICE deportation tactics, steep citizenship application fees, GOP's internal immigration battle, more

Immigration tactics aimed at boosting deportations - USA Today New records obtained show that "U.S. immigration officials laid out plans last year that would ratchet up expulsions of immigrants convicted of minor crimes as part of an urgent push to make sure the government would not fall short of its criminal deportation targets.

Are steep fees discouraging immigrants from becoming US citizens?

For many immigrants, the high cost of applying for U.S. citizenship represents a financial sacrifice. It could be a big reason more don't apply.