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

Changing how the census identifies Latinos: Does it complicate an already tricky question?

As the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to simplify how Latinos are counted by proposing to make them more of an exclusive category, regardless of race, does this only further complicate the already tricky question of Latino/Hispanic identity?

In the news this morning: Arpaio trial closing arguments, deferred action and the promise of better jobs, 'Shenandoah' documentary, more

Arpaio lawyers say discrimination charge unproved - Arizona Daily Star During closing arguments, attorneys for Phoenix's Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told a federal judge that "a group of Latino plaintiffs failed to prove during a civil trial that the sheriff or any of his deputies engaged in unconstitutional racial profiling.

What's next for SB 1070's Section 2(B)

The most controversial provision of Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law could take effect very soon, but not before the judge who originally blocked it two years ago has her say.

In the news this morning: Candidates pitch DREAM Act for Democratic party platform, deferred action scams, hate rock, more

Democratic candidates pitch DREAM Act for platform - Associated Press Three Senate candidates are asking delegates to the Democratic National Convention to make supporting the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act part of the party platform.

Should the census change how Latinos are counted?

The U.S. Census Bureau has long struggled with how to count Latinos, or more accurately, those described on census forms as "Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin.” It's always been tricky.

A mixed-race lineage more complicated than imagined: On the implications of President Obama's possible link to a slave

Author Erin Aubry Kaplan has written a thoughtful piece for the Los Angeles Times on a fascinating recent genealogical find: According to researchers at Ancestry.com, President Obama may likely be a descendant of the first black man to be defined as a slave in the early American colonies - and not via the African side of his family.

More young people may qualify for deferred action than previously thought

Now that Homeland Security officials have issued detailed guidelines on who may may qualify for deferred action, temporary legal status that young undocumented immigrants can apply for under a new Obama administration plan, it looks like there could be more applicants in the pipeline than estimated before.

American snapshot: Halal teriyaki Mexican ramen?

Yes, it does exist. Blogger/sociology grad student Calvin Ho posted this on his Asian diasporas blog, The Plaid Bag Connection:

Should the census change how Latinos are counted?

The U.S. Census Bureau is experimenting with new ways for Latinos to identify themselves on census forms. In 2010, they were asked to identify by race, then by ethnicity.

In the news this morning: Florida undocumented law school grad gets good news, white-power music and the Sikh temple shooting, more

Undocumented Immigrant Can be Lawyer, Florida Bar Says - Fox News Latino The Florida Board of Bar Examiners has concluded that Jose Godinez-Samperio, an undocumented law school graduate who arrived in the U.

More young immigrants may qualify for legal status than previously thought

According to a new estimate that takes in recently-released Homeland Security guidelines, an additional 350,000 young immigrants may qualify for temporary legal status under a new policy.

A Sikh on 'mistaken identity' after Sunday's shooting: Do different shades of otherness matter when people hate?

In a blog post that cuts painfully deep, English professor and blogger Amardeep Singh gets into the mistaken-identity story behind the deadly shooting rampage Sunday at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that left seven people dead, among them the gunman, a known white supremacist.

A legal expert interprets the new DHS deferred action guidelines for young immigrants

On Friday, officials from U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement released new guidelines on that they're calling “deferred action for childhood arrivals,” DACA for short. Since mid-June, when the Obama administration announced it would allow young undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria to apply for temporary legal status and work permits, the agency has been working to formalize the application process and clear up a long list of questions.

In the news this morning: Sikhs lament being targeted, the UndocuBus, a immigration crackdown in Greece, more

Mourning Victims, Sikhs Lament Being Mistaken for Radicals or Militants - New York Times Sunday's shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin left seven people dead, including the shooter, a known white supremacist.

A legal expert interprets new DHS deferred action guidelines

A legal interpretation of new Homeland Security guidelines, released Friday, for young undocumented immigrants seeking temporary legal status under a new policy.