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 letter from mother to daughter about language, love, and identity

A contest that's part of the Lea LA Spanish-language book festival taking place this weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center has yielded some beautifully candid and eloquent letters from Latina mothers to their children (and from grandmothers to their grandchildren) about the importance of keeping language and culture alive across generations.

Report examines relationship between immigration, nativism and politics in a changing Europe

It's been interesting watching the role of immigration in European national elections this year, especially in France, where incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy has moved increasingly to the right on immigration as he competes with a candidate from the far-right National Front.

What's alleged in the federal lawsuit against 'American's toughest sheriff' Arpaio

What exactly is alleged in the federal Department of Justice's lawsuit against "America's toughest sheriff" Joe Arpaio? If it's any hint, there is a chihuahua involved, not in a cute way.

A letter from mother to daughter about language, love, and identity

As part of a contest for the Lea LA Spanish-language book festival taking place this weekend, a mother writes to her infant daughter about why it's important for her to pass along her language and her culture.

In the news this morning: Latinos and same-sex marriage, feds sue Arpaio over civil rights, a challenge to the no-fly list, more

Will Obama's support of same-sex marriage cost him Latino votes? - Southern California Public Radio While many Latino voters tend to run socially conservative, several recent polls don't show them having any stronger opposition to same-sex marriage than the general public.

Forbes on 'why immigrants make better entrepreneurs'

Following a report from CNN earlier this week on how immigrants driven into business by the recession are now helping push the recovery, Forbes has a piece today highlighting the story of one man who exemplifies that sort of drive.

Will Obama's support of same-sex marriage cost him Latino votes?

That's become one of the burning questions since yesterday's announcement by President Obama that he believes same-sex couples should have the right to marry, made a day after North Carolina legislators voted to outlaw same-sex marriage in their state.

In the news this morning: No repeal of Alabama immigration law, Latinos and Obama's support of same sex marriage, BLM rangers on border

Ala. Senate rejects move to repeal immigration law - CBS News The Alabama state senate voted yesterday to reject a repeal of the state's controversial new anti-illegal immigration law, called the strictest in the nation.

Romney may not be 'still deciding' on immigration, but the Latino problem remains

In the day since it was uttered, news reports have alternately called a Republican National Committee staffer's remark to reporters yesterday about Mitt Romney "still deciding what his position on immigration is,” a flub, a gaffe, a snag, and a disaster.

LAPD sued over impound policy that lets some undocumented drivers without licenses keep their cars

The same conservative watchdog group that sued the Los Angeles Police Department over its Special Order 40, which prohibits officer from inquiring about immigration status, has now sued the department over a revised vehicle impound policy that gives officers greater discretion in determining whether to impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers.

ICE deportation reviews by the numbers, explained

The review of some 300,000 deportation cases in the nation's backlogged immigration courts recently led to some confusing headlines after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that about 16,500 pending cases would be temporarily put on hold, which some translated into these cases being "shelved.

In the news this morning: A new border strategy, RNC flap over Romney's immigration stance, media for English-speaking Latinos, more

RNC Hits Snag on Romney's Immigration Stance - Wall Street Journal The Republican National Committee’s Latino outreach efforts took a beating yesterday following RNC director Bettina Inclán's remark that presidential candidate Mitt Romney is "still deciding what his position on immigration is.

Author Luis Alberto Urrea on the Border Patrol and reporting 'The Devil's Highway' (Video)

One of the best books I've read about the U.S.-Mexico border is Luis Alberto Urrea's "The Devil's Highway," which tells the story of a group of 26 Mexican migrants who became lost in the Arizona desert in May 2001, after being abandoned by their guide.

The recession pushed some immigrants to become entrepreneurs - and now they're helping drive the recovery

It's been documented for some time that immigrants outpace the native-born in the U.S. in terms of starting their own businesses. But the economic downtown has apparently driven even more immigrants to become entrepreneurs, according to a story today from CNN Money.

The promise of the English-speaking Latino audience

The official announcement yesterday that the Disney-owned ABC News has teamed with Univision to launch a 24-hour cable news channel for English-speaking Latinos next year is just the latest in a series of similar announcements from media companies.