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

How foreign dollars are changing El Monte

As more Chinese investors look to build in the city, El Monte's leaders are cracking down on illegal dumping. They also fought to keep a county probation center out.

LA street vending is big business, but not yet legal

It's a $500 million industry in LA. As vendors wait for a legalization plan at city hall, some have moved forward, securing health permits and renting commercial space

'Anchor baby' comments stir more controversy for Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush said he was talking about Asians and referred to so-called "maternity tourism." It hasn't gone over well with Asian Americans.

Mexican immigrants worry as peso drops

The Mexican peso has hit a record low against the dollar. Immigrants living in Southern California say that means the money they send home stretches further.

A financial 'wild west' in the San Gabriel Valley

Under the EB-5 visa program 10,000 foreign investors are granted green cards each year. Many invest in local development. But critics say the program needs oversight.

As Huntington Park goes, does Southern California?

Some see the appointment of two city commissioners who don't have legal status as a predictor of what's to come, with more immigrants involved in civic life.

Sheriff's Department asks for more time to fine-tune immigration program

Sheriff's officials have asked for more time to report back to county supervisors on how much or little they'll cooperate with feds on detaining people for deportation.

Chinese investors sue LA investment firm for misusing money

Luca International Group had an office in the San Gabriel Valley. Among Luca's investors were hopeful immigrants who were investing money through the federal EB 5 visa program.

How driver's licenses are helping immigrant women find work

In California, immigrants without legal status can get driver's licenses. That's putting more immigrant women behind the wheel and into the workforce.

New Huntington Park commissioners don't have legal status

The city appointed two residents to serve on local commissions. A city official says both are longtime volunteers, but have been unable to obtain legal status.

As we cross our fingers for El Niño, Peru braces for floods

The rains would bring relief to Southern California. But Peruvians who live here are worried for family back home. Peru has already declared a state of emergency.

El Monte sweatshop slavery case still resonates 20 years later

Dozens of Thai migrants were held captive in sweatshops. The case is considered a landmark that influenced immigration and labor policies.

Debate over immigration program heats up after San Francisco shooting

A new federal program seeks to deport immigrants only if they are convicted of crimes, but the plan is drawing heat from both sides of the immigration debate.

In LA's 'Tehrangeles,' mixed feelings about proposed US-Iran accord

Many are cautiously optimistic about easing sanctions, but say they don't trust the Iranian government.

Greek economic crisis could bring a wave of new migrants

The Greek diaspora in the U.S. dates back generations. One local organization says it's been overwhelmed lately with pleas from Greek workers who want to move to L.A.