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

Immigration focus remains on border, not visa overstays

People who arrived in the U.S. legally on temporary visas are believed to make up more than 40 percent of the unauthorized immigrant population.

Labor Department officials plan worker visa fraud crackdown

The move recalls Southern California cases of alleged visa abuses, but Asian community advocates say it's an anti-immigrant move.

New app to help detained immigrants — in 5 languages

A Korean-American group based in Los Angeles has partnered with volunteer developers to create a smartphone app for unauthorized immigrants stopped by authorities.

In House race, Democrats battle over who's more progressive

In a 34th Congressional District candidates' forum Thursday, perhaps the most contentious point between Jimmy Gomez and Robert Ahn was just how progressive the other really is.

Immigration agents arrest nearly 200 in LA-area raids

Immigration agents arrested nearly 200 people suspected of being in the country illegally in a five-day raid in the Los Angeles area, authorities said Thursday.

Proposed federal budget slips in penalty for 'sanctuary cities'

Buried in President Trump’s proposed federal budget is language that would cut some funding to governments that don't comply with immigration agents.

LA earmarks $1M for immigrant defense, but debate's not over

The budget earmarks $1 million this year for the legal defense fund, but city officials must still approve policy details, including who benefits.

LA case highlights rise of non-criminal immigrant arrests

When it comes to arresting immigrants, law enforcement officials have long prioritized those with criminal records. That's changing under Trump.

House bill would give feds clout against sanctuary jurisdictions

One facet of a stringent new immigration bill in the U.S. House of Representatives aims to make local police like LAPD cooperate with immigration agents – whether they want to or not.

ICE arrests spike under Trump — in LA, not so much

​Immigration officials say in the president's first 100 days, immigrant arrests nationwide rose by 38 percent. In the Los Angeles area, arrests are up by about 5 percent.

Courts weigh Trump travel ban; some say damage already done

Some of those affected in Southern California say the ban has already had a chilling effect on local families bringing in relatives and those helping asylum seekers.

OC supervisors agree to rent more immigrant detention beds to ICE

Orange County supervisors have unanimously approved a plan to rent an additional 120 detention beds at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange under contract to immigration officials.

'Systemic' problems in immigrant detainee medical care, report says

Human rights advocates say untrained staff and medical delays are commonplace. Immigration officials responded saying they are "committed to ensuring the welfare of all those in the agency's custody."

How did May Day become a day for immigrant rights marches?

The day long known as International Workers' Day around the world is marked in the United States as a time when marchers take to the streets for immigrant rights.

LA Council candidate loses key support after offensive posts

City Council candidate Joe Bray-Ali says he's staying in the race against incumbent Gil Cedillo, although he's received a flood of criticism after his posting on online forums.