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

Posts of the week: Immigrant Day, TRUST Act 2.0, whether or not to still use 'minorities,' more

Posts of the Week is back, this time with the highlights from a week that brought us something called Immigrant Day, a debate over whether the term "minorities" is still relevant as the country's demographics change, and yet another animal-related metaphor for immigrants from the mouth of a member of Congress.

¡Yo quiero pizza! Pizza chain wades into politics of culture, bilingualism and free food

A pizza chain in Texas is causing a stir with a promotion scheduled for early June in which customers will receive a free pizza if they order in Spanish. Just a few magic words like "pizza, por favor," and you're in.

Survey says: Latinos still favor Obama, and his same-sex marriage stance makes little difference

A conservative group is capitalizing on President Obama's less-than-popular record on immigration as a way to appeal to Latino voters, while Republican candidate-apparent Mitt Romney is talking up the economy as an alternate way of reaching out to Latinos.

In the news this morning: Female immigrant detained after domestic violence call, smugglers use phony UPS van, S-Comm expands, more

Woman Who Made Domestic Violence Call Ends up in Immigration Custody - Fox News Latino A woman in Colorado who called police over an alleged domestic violence incident said she was turned over to immigration authorities and detained for nearly two weeks; civil rights advocates say her case is one of three similar ones in her county.

You speak Miami, I speak East L.A.: The regional dialects of U.S.-born Latinos

Among immigrants from Latin America in the United States, national and regional accents and dialects are commonplace. But the same holds true for many of their U.S.-born and raised children, who speak English as their native language, but with a Spanish-inflected lilt that's particular to the region of the country they were raised in.

Is the term 'minorities' still relevant? What readers had to say

Now that children born to black, Latino, Asian and other parents of color make up the majority of new births in the U.S., accounting for more than 50 percent of children younger than age one last year, it's prompted a good question:

In the news this morning: Latinos and same-sex marriage, an undocumented law school grad, Startup Act 2.0, Chipotle under scrutiny, more

Poll: Obama Gay Marriage Stance Won't Sway Latinos - Arizona Public Media Polling indicates that while many Latinos are more socially conservative, they are less concerned with same-sex marriage than with issues like the economy and jobs.

Bird dogs, feral hogs, dangerous waters, toxic waste: The metaphors we use for immigrants

You might say that Rep. Steve King of Iowa has a penchant for mentioning immigrants and animals together in the same speech. This week, the Republican congressman has come under fire for talking about the United States drawing the "cream of the crop" in terms of immigrants, not a bad thing in itself, but in the context of breeding bird dogs.

Report: Are U.S. immigration policies hurting business?

Compared with the United States, several other countries are doing more to attract skilled and entrepreneurial immigrants, according to a new report, and their economies benefit from it.

Bird dogs, feral hogs, dangerous waters, toxic waste: The metaphors we use for immigrants

Rep. Steve King of Iowa has been in hot water this week for comparing the "cream of the crop" of immigrants to good bird dogs, but it's not a first. Animal and other metaphors are often used for immigrants and immigration, including in media and the courts.

In the news this morning: Census undercounts people of color, visas proposed for highly skilled workers, immigration vs. dog breeding, more

2010 census missed more than 1.5M minorities - Associated Press A federal analysis shows that the 2010 census over-counted the U.S. population by about 36,000, mostly due to affluent whites with multiple homes.

Bell corruption scandal inspires a new media experiment: A newspaper, in Spanish

A Spanish-language news website plans to launch a print newspaper for the city of Bell, where ousted city officials face criminal charges in a corruption scandal. The idea is “to contribute to the strengthening of the political, social and economic” development of the community, say its publishers.

Is it time for a term to replace 'minorities?'

Sometime in July 2010, non-Latino white babies in the United States ceased to be the majority of new births, with children born to black, Latino, Asian and other parents of color accounting for more than 50 percent of children younger than one last year.

Bell corruption scandal inspires a new media experiment: A newspaper, in Spanish

It's been a while since all heck broke loose in Bell, a working-class, Latino-majority city in southeast Los Angeles County.

Is it time for another term to replace ‘minorities?’

The nation's demographics have shifted, with non-Latino white babies no longer a majority. Is it time to re-evaluate what we call members of other racial and ethnic groups?