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

How secure is the border? 3 good reads on why it's hard to measure

Part of the debate over immigration reform focuses on "securing the border." Figuring out how secure the U.S.-Mexico border is remains a tough challenge.

In immigration news: More ICE detainees up for release, Jeb Bush says no to citizenship, how to measure border security, more

Jeb Bush baffles immigration reform advocates - Washington Post From the story: "Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, long thought to be among the most ardent immigration reform proponents on the right, threw supporters and critics for a loop when Monday when he said on the Today show that any path to citizenship would 'violate the rule of law.

Bilingual ed in SoCal: Parents share their experiences

Bilingual education for English learners as it was once known in California ended by law in the late 1990s. But in the years since, the popularity of a different kind of bilingual education, known as dual language immersion, has grown exponentially.

In immigration news: Why some don't naturalize, DHS turns 10, Asian American voters, California GOP seeks Latinos, more

Many immigrants in the U.S. stop midway along the path to citizenship - Washington Post From the story: "In 2011, 61 percent of eligible immigrants became citizens, according to a recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center.

American snapshot: Little Tokyo

Conveyor belt kaiten-zushi and an English-Spanish tip basket, all part of the wonderful multilingual world of L.A. sushi restaurants.

In immigration news: Prospects for reform, ICE detainee releases, the immigrant detention industry, more

How the GOP could break an unwritten rule and pass immigration reform - ABC News By holding a vote Thursday on the Violence Against Women Act, House Republican leaders helped to reauthorize the measure, which drew near-unanimous House Democratic support.

Immigration detainee releases: Highlights from the economics of detention

The lucrative business of immigrant detention is no secret. Now that detention is back in the news, here are a few highlights of how it works.

In immigration news: White House denies input on ICE detainee releases, detention costs, 'Negro' dropped from census, more

White House was 'unaware' of immigration detainee release - CNN A White House official says there was no input from either the White House or the Homeland Security Department on U.S.

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.