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

Study: Babies exposed to just one racial group can develop racial 'bias'

Multi-American's sister blog DCentric at WAMU in Washington, D.C. shared a story today that's worth highlighting here: A piece in Good magazine about a University of Massachusetts study which suggests that infants confined to being around a single racial group can develop trouble telling apart people from other racial groups, and be less able to read their emotions.

More astronautas in the news: NASA's first Latino astronaut inducted into Hall of Fame

There's been more than the usual amount of news lately regarding Latinos and space travel (as is if there ever is much), thanks to former NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez's candidacy for U.

Readers on the state of the immigrant rights movement, post-May Day

It's been nearly a week since May Day rallies took place in L.A. and throughout the country. This time, the immigrants rights marchers who have turned out for several years shared the stage with protesters from the Occupy movement, who organized their own events.

Another post-May Day take on the state of the immigrant rights movement

After a relatively low turnout of immigrants rights marchers during last Tuesday's May Day rallies, one headline screamed "May Day Protests Show Weak Immigration Movement." A couple of posts in the last few days on Multi-American have provided a reality check, analyzing the evolution of the immigrant rights movement in the years since the massive marches of 2006 and questioning whether crowd count is still the best indicator of a movement in the virtual age.

In the news this morning: Immigrants spared deportation living in limbo, jury award in hijab discrimination case, more

Deportation cases halted, but illegal immigrants lives remain on hold - Atlanta Journal-Constitution People whose deportation cases are being shelved following a federal review of the immigration court system have been spared from removal, but they don't get legal status and still can't work, so they continue in limbo.

Posts of the week: May Day, mourning Junior Seau, very long waits for immigrant visas, a different kind of Cinco de Mayo list, more

This week has brought us May Day and its accompanying immigrant rights and other marches, the death of a beloved football hero, and continued remembrances of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which began 20 years ago last Sunday and were just winding down about now, as life in L.

Cinco curiosities for Cinco de Mayo

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Black, white, Latino, Asian, unknown: A list of victims from the 1992 Los Angeles riots

The Los Angeles riots of 1992, which 20 years ago today were just winding down, have been called the nation's first truly multiracial riots. In the violence and arson that killed more than 50 people, injured thousands and led to nearly $1 billion in property damage, Angelenos of multiple races and ethnicities were were both victims and perpetrators of the unrest, and no one was left out.

In the news this morning: Alabama's immigration law and education, Asian and Muslim population growth, a YouTube network for Latinos, more

Feds: Alabama immigration law caused spike in Hispanic student absences - CNN A U.S. Department of Justice official is warning Alabama's education department that the state's HB 56 anti-illegal immigration law "has had 'lasting' and possibly illegal consequences for Hispanic school children" and has diminished their access to education and its quality.

A televised social experiment looks at teens, racism and peer pressure

In what turned out to be a telling social experiment, NBC Dateline recently put together a fake talent contest to see how American teenagers respond to racial and ethnic discrimination, especially in the face of peer pressure.

Teaching the legacy of genocide to young descendants of immigrants

How to teach young descendants of immigrants who survived a genocide, wartime atrocities and other horrors about their turbulent heritage? KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has put together a fascinating series taking in how elders are teaching younger descendants of Cambodian, Armenian, and European Jewish immigrants about what their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents lived through.

Some healthcare relief for restaurant workers, many of whom are undocumented

A pilot program in Los Angeles is promising to provide health coverage for uninsured restaurant workers, including undocumented ones. The plan is to launch a cooperative, funded in part by the Kaiser Community Benefits Fund and the California Wellness Fund, that for a contribution of $25 a month will allow its members access to primary care, preventive care, dental care and other basics through a community clinic.

Do lower crowd counts at rallies equal a 'weak immigration movement?'

There's an Associated Press headline that's been picked up by news outlets around the country by now in reference to Tuesday's rallies which reads, "May Day Protests Show Weak Immigration Movement.

In the news this morning: Healthcare for undocumented restaurant workers, two shootings involving ICE agents, more

Program offers healthcare for illegal restaurant workers in L.A. - Los Angeles Times A restaurant workers' group and a community clinic are starting a pilot program to provide health coverage to undocumented immigrants, who are ineligible under federal health care reform.

Do lower crowd counts suggest an ebbing immigration rights movement?’

Are crowd counts a good gauge of the movement's growth?