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

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.

A dramatic rise in Latinos' support for Obama

A new survey has 63 percent of Latinos approving Obama's handling of immigration issues, a major shift from only 28 percent in late 2011.

In immigration news: Economists on immigration policy, internal debate in the GOP, a poll that favors deportation, more

Three ways to totally transform U.S. immigration policy - NPR Three economists on how to transform immigration policy and what makes the most economic sense: allowing more visas to high-skilled workers, including more low-skilled workers, or simply letting immigrants in with few restrictions.

In immigration news: Long citizenship wait under Obama plan, the 'back of the line,' Arizona senators back in debate, more

Undocumented immigrants would have 13-year wait for citizenship under Obama plan - Washington Post Under a White House immigration reform plan leaked to press over the weekend, the path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants would begin with “Lawful Prospective Immigrant Status" and culminate with citizenship after a wait of at least 13 years.

The back of the immigrant line can be endless

The story of a would-be immigrant, and the visa backlogs that have kept her in limbo for decades, illustrates the long waits people face to enter the U.S.

Immigration news: White House reform plan, Arizona arrests

A roundup of immigration-related news from Washington and the rest of the country.

Report: A snapshot of US Latinos today, by the numbers

A new report provides statistical details behind the way the nation's largest ethnic group is evolving in its role within the U.S. population.

In immigration news: ICE deportation tactics, steep citizenship application fees, GOP's internal immigration battle, more

Immigration tactics aimed at boosting deportations - USA Today New records obtained show that "U.S. immigration officials laid out plans last year that would ratchet up expulsions of immigrants convicted of minor crimes as part of an urgent push to make sure the government would not fall short of its criminal deportation targets.

Are steep fees discouraging immigrants from becoming US citizens?

For many immigrants, the high cost of applying for U.S. citizenship represents a financial sacrifice. It could be a big reason more don't apply.

OC settlement requires deputies to accommodate religious attire in custody

A legal settlement will keep Orange County sheriff’s deputies from ordering people in custody who wear religious attire to remove it.

State of the Union 2013: Reaction is mixed to Obama's immigration proposals

How immigrants and others reacted the the president's proposals on immigration depended on how they heard him and what he said.

In immigration news: Senate reform hearing, immigration in the State of the Union, explaining the 11 million, more

Senate panel tackles immigration - New York Times The Senate Judiciary Committee, "which will likely put its own stamp on any immigration bill to reach its conference room," is set to hold its first immigration reform hearing today.

Korean American voter drive aims to engage young and old

The idea is to boost civic participation among working-age voters 30 to 55, with some persuasion from teens their children's age.

In immigration news: Lawmakers push for highly-skilled visas, Asian American reform priorities, lateral deportation, more

Lawmakers, entrepreneurs push immigration proposals ahead of State of the Union - Washington Post From the story: "A group of entrepreneurs and legislators is urging President Obama to put particular emphasis on bringing more highly skilled, foreign-born individuals into the country, as calls for broad immigration reform grow louder.