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 rollback on detention reforms? After ‘Holiday on ICE,’ House goes after public advocate

Three years after the Obama administration announced plans to reform the troubled immigrant detention system, certain long-planned aspects that have recently taken shape are being blasted by some conservative lawmakers.

In the news this morning: Little relief from deportation reviews, poll shows support for SB 1070, detainee spending cutbacks, more

Few Immigrants See Relief from Deportations In Obama Administration Review - PBS Frontline An investigation shows that of some 300,000 pending deportation cases that the Obama administration began reviewing in November, fewer than 2 percent have been closed so far.

Poll: Latinos prefer original DREAM Act, are split on ‘DREAM-light’

A new poll indicates that when given a choice, Latino voters prefer the original Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would grant conditional legal status to undocumented college students and military hopefuls. But they are split on a slimmed-down version being floated by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Scenes from a (bicultural) marriage: On going 'home,' wherever that is

We know that love in the United States has become increasingly color-blind, and that it may conquer much. But love across color or ethnic lines isn't always easy, even in a polyglot city like Los Angeles.

'Yes, he is Mexican...here in Tehrangeles, even the Mexicans speak Farsi'

In the run-up to an event at UCLA tonight titled "What Would a Persian Spring Mean For L.A.?," Zócalo Public Square has published a lovely essay from Iranian American journalist Ashfin Molavi, who writes about how immigrants from Iran have helped shape Los Angeles, just as it has shaped them.

Who had the longest wait for an immigrant visa this month?

We're well into June, meaning it's time to take a look once again at the line for legal entry via the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin. The bulletin lists the wait times for hopeful immigrants waiting to come to the U.

In the news this morning: Alabama immigrants afraid to seek health care, 'hijabistas' in fashion, educational disparities within ethnic grou

Tougher immigration law has migrant workers seeking healthcare in the field - News 10 Health workers from migrant clinics are reaching out to immigrant laborers in Alabama's farm fields, who are reluctant to seek health care after the state enacted a strict anti-illegal immigration law.

‘Yes, he is Mexican…here in Tehrangeles, even the Mexicans speak Farsi’

In this essay from Zócalo, an Iranian American recalls how accepted he felt upon learning that the Farsi-speaking maitre d' at a Persian restaurant was not from Iran, but from Mexico.

Who had the longest wait for an immigrant visa this month?

Under some family-sponsored visa categories, there are hopeful immigrants outside the U.S. who must wait in line for more than 20 years to come legally.

Compton's Measure B: How district elections could change 'racially polarized' voting

A measure in Compton that came out of a lawsuit seeking greater political representation for Latinos in the city passed by a clear margin in yesterday's California primary election.

In the news this morning: Muslims sue NYPD over spying, D.C. council votes to limit S-Comm cooperation, detainee dies in custody, more

N.J. Muslim group sues NYPD to stop routine spying - CBS News A Muslim legal rights group is suing over a New York Police Department program that conducted surveillance on mosques and universities, saying the department violated the civil rights of innocent Muslims.

Bill would let some foreign grads stay, but not undocumented

Startup Act 2.0 proposes letting foreign grad students in certain fields remain in the United States as legal residents, but undocumented students aren't eligible.

Scenes from a (bicultural) marriage: Communication and identity

Love has become increasingly color-blind, this we know, as the percentage of interracial and interethnic marriages in the United States continues to grow. And it may conquer much. But even in one of the world's most diverse cities, that doesn't necessarily make love across color or ethnic lines any easier.

Explaining the Startup Act 2.0

What is the cleverly-named legislation called Startup Act 2.0? The bill being announced tomorrow by members of Congress is the House version of a Senate bill introduced last month, which simply put makes it easier for foreigners who obtain advanced degrees to stay in the United States.

Racial, political lines divide Americans on whether immigrants threaten 'traditional values'

There's a comprehensive new Pew Research Center report on American values, a far-reaching one based on surveys that takes in trends since the late 1980s. It charts the rise in partisan polarization, as well as where Americans lie in terms of their values regarding everything from business to religion.