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

Work permits and auctions: A look at two new proposals for granting work visas to immigrants

There are a couple of new proposals for granting work visas to foreign workers, one of them legislative, the other a private proposal put together by an economist. They couldn't be more different, but the one thing they have in common is that they are drawing their share of controversy, as might be expected in this economy.

On California as older, less crowded, more second-generation - and still a great place to be

California's population growth over the next few decades isn't going to be as big as once predicted, according to one recent projection from the University of Southern California. In a nutshell, the state will become older, increasingly second-generation, and less crowded than previously thought.

Love, L.A. style: A look behind the rise in interracial/interethnic relationships

We've all seen the statistics and the stories by now: Interracial and interethnic relationships and families are on the rise, the product of an increasingly multicultural United States.

In the news this morning: Senate being sued over Dream Act filibuster, immigrants and health policy, CA bill proposes work permits, more

Immigrant activists sue U.S. Senate over Dream Act - Orange County Register A group of undocumented college graduates and an advocacy group announced yesterday that they are suing the U.

An economist's proposal for immigration reform: Auctioning work permits to companies

A bit of news I linked to earlier is worth a second mention: A novel approach to issuing work permits, the brainchild of a UC Davis economist. Giovanni Peri is suggesting that U.S. companies compete in a quarterly electronic auction, with companies bidding to buy visas for workers.

Carlos Fuentes on immigration, circa 2006

One of the many things that celebrated Mexican writer and diplomat Carlos Fuentes was outspoken about was immigration, including the U.S. labor market's demand for it.

The GOP veepstakes continue, with talk of Latino and 'incredibly boring' picks

The will-Romney-choose-a-Latino-veep running mate drama has hit a somewhat higher pitch this week, notably with Politico quoting an unnamed GOP operative saying that Republican presidential nominee-apparent Mitt Romney's campaign will mostly likely stick to what's politically safest and select "an incredibly boring white guy.

In the news this morning: Secure Communities expansion, an undocumented airport security supervisor, a 'market based' reform plan, more

Coast to Coast, Unrest over Secure Communities - Fox News Latino Public officials and immigrant advocates opposed to the controversial Secure Communities fingerprint sharing program are criticizing the federal government's expansion of the program in New York, Massachusetts and Washington state.

In aftermath of Monterrey massacre, speculation about where the victims came from

It's too soon to draw any conclusions about where the 49 people found dead in northern Mexico near the city of Monterrey yesterday, their headless bodies dumped on a highway, may have come from.

Illegal immigration from Mexico is down, but legal immigration isn't

In a short piece in The Atlantic today, Council on Foreign Relations fellow Shannon K. O'Neill points out that as net migration to the U.S. from Mexico has dropped sharply in recent years, there's an interesting wrinkle to the northbound migration that continues.

'I chose to be an Angeleno': An identify forged by immigration, even for a local

The term "Angeleno" refers to a person from Los Angeles, but there are some Angelenos who relate to the term on another level. The best way I can describe it: As a descriptor of a person whose identity is closely tied to a multiethnic city with a complicated past and a complicated present, and whose identity doesn't fit neatly into a cultural box.

Illegal immigration from Mexico is down, but legal immigration isn’t

As unauthorized migration has dropped, the share of immigrants coming from Mexico with visas, including business-related visas, has gone up.

In the news this morning: Secure Communities spreads, AL farmers prepare for immigrant labor shortage, 'zero tolerance' border policies, mor

Fingerprints Program Stirs Wide Dissent - Wall Street Journal Federal immigration officials are continuing to roll out the controversial Secure Communities fingerprint-sharing program; New York State is next, in spite of protest from state and local officials.

A letter from mother to daughter about language, love, and identity

A contest that's part of the Lea LA Spanish-language book festival taking place this weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center has yielded some beautifully candid and eloquent letters from Latina mothers to their children (and from grandmothers to their grandchildren) about the importance of keeping language and culture alive across generations.

Report examines relationship between immigration, nativism and politics in a changing Europe

It's been interesting watching the role of immigration in European national elections this year, especially in France, where incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy has moved increasingly to the right on immigration as he competes with a candidate from the far-right National Front.