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

‘Their continued perspective of who we are’: Remembering Lupe Ontiveros

Ontiveros, who died yesterday, was as respected for her film and television work as she was for her outspokenness on the limited roles offered to Latino actors. She once counted having played a maid more than 150 times.

Poll: Americans ‘comfortable’ with religion of presidential candidates – so long as it’s not Islam

A new Pew poll has a majority of Americans saying they are "comfortable" with Mitt Romney being Mormon, as they are with President Obama being Christian. But for those who mistakenly believe Obama to be Muslim, the comfort level drops.

Prosecutorial discretion still a slow process, with relatively few cases closed

A review of deportation cases announced almost a year ago by the Obama administration is having limited success when it comes to weeding out and closing the cases of people eligible to stay in the country, let alone alleviating the backlog in the immigration courts.

Should athlete's anti-immigrant comment get her banned from Olympics?

A segment today on KPCC's AirTalk over an Olympic Twitter flap has drawn a long list of comments online, not surprising given what was tweeted. Last weekend, Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou tweeted this (warning, it's not pretty), apparently in response to news that mosquitoes in Greece were infecting people with West Nile virus:

'My father arrived...from Abruzzo, Italy': Tommy Lasorda on his immigrant dad

Since last year, the "Arrival Stories" series on KCET Departures has featured the stories of Angelenos who are immigrants and children of immigrants, telling in their own words how they or their parents arrived in the United States.

Prosecutorial discretion still slow, with few cases closed

As of late July, only 7,186 of deportation cases being reviewed in the immigration courts had been closed, according to immigration officials.

In the news this morning: Witness testimony in Arpaio profiling trial, Obama still leading with Latino voters, immigration court backlog, mo

At Arizona sheriff's trial, Latino driver tells of humiliation - Reuters During testimony in the racial profiling trial of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, one witness, a Latino U.

Enforcement vs. integration: As immigration scenario shifts, are policy changes in order?

The last couple of decades' worth of immigration policy in the United States has focused on enforcement, corresponding with a surge in illegal immigration. But as the scenario has shifted, with decreased cross-border migration from Mexico and more immigrants, authorized and not, staying long-term, is it time to start shifting the focus to the successful integration of their children?

In the news this morning: Arpaio on trial, cost of deferred action plan, protests in Anaheim over officer-involved shootings, more

Arpaio's words used against him at racial-profiling case - Arizona Republic Prosecutors in the trial in which Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is accused of racially profiling Latinos used Arpaio's own words from media interviews, a book, and other records as evidence of biased attitudes, which he denied on the stand.

Enforcement vs. integration: As immigration scenario shifts, are policy changes in order?

After years of federal and state focus on enforcement, immigration trends have shifted, with decreased cross-border migration and more children born to immigrants in the U.S. A new report poses interesting questions about the direction of future policies.

Police and communities of color: From 1963 Los Angeles to present-day Anaheim

The officer-involved fatal shootings of two Latino men, one of them unarmed, in Anaheim, Calif. last weekend have worsened what was already a strained relationship between the city's police force and its Latino residents, who make up more than half the city's population.

Another challenge to implementing deferred action: What it could cost

The Obama administration's new plan to offer deferred action, a form of temporary legal status, to at least hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants faces a long list of logistical challenges, as a report pointed out last month.

You’re too old for deferred action – now what? Your questions answered

By mid-August, hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who believe they may qualify for temporary legal status under a new Obama administration policy are expected to begin making their cases for why they should stay.

Police and communities of color: From 1963 Los Angeles to present-day Anaheim

Public reaction to the officer-involved shooting deaths of two Latino men this weekend in Anaheim bears a striking similarity to what's discussed in a 1963 report on police relationships with communities of color.

In the news this morning: Judge to weigh new SB 1070 challenge, Latinos react to Anaheim shootings, Texas human smuggling crash, more

Judge to consider new challenge to SB 1070 section - Arizona Republic U.S. District Court judge Susan Bolton has given the state until Aug. 10 to respond to a new legal challenge to one of the law's provisions, recently upheld by the U.