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

An unexpected personal discovery of immigrant roots

Anyone who has looked into long-ago immigrant family roots will appreciate this NPR piece, which tells the story of University of Minnesota history professor Erika Lee's unexpected personal discovery as she researched the Chinese Exclusion era.

In the news this morning: Discrimination complaints in Alabama, Romney's immigration record, a self-deportee's story, more

Hispanics feel harassed under Alabama's immigration law – USA Today Unlike other states in which some of the stricter provisions of new anti-illegal immigration laws have been blocked, Alabama implemented its law last year with a provision allowing local officers to check for immigration status.

Posts of the week: The 'immigrant' Fiats, too old for deferred action, children of deportees, Romney ad touts Mexican roots, more

Some of the big immigration stories of the last month are still developing, with the clock ticking toward when many young undocumented immigrants may apply for temporary legal status, provided they are no older than 30.

Missouri adoption ruling illustrates how easily deportees can lose their kids

The proponents of measures aimed at keeping the children of deportees with their families now have a sad development to point to in the case of Guatemalan immigrant Encarnacion Bail Romero, her 5-year-old son, and the Missouri couple that took the boy in while she languished in custody and eventually moved to adopt him.

In the news this morning: Napolitano defends deferred action policy, states try to purge voter rolls, Arpaio racial profiling trial begins,

Napolitano defends Obama's immigration policy - Associated Press Before a House committee yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano defended a new Obama administration policy that will allow many young undocumented immigrants to apply for temporary legal status and work permits.

The latest challenge to SB 1070's controversial Section 2(B)

Late last month, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down three of four controversial provisions of Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law that had been temporarily blocked by a lower court.

The latest challenge to SB 1070's controversial Section 2(B)

Plaintiffs seek to block the controversial provision, which would empower local cops in Arizona to check immigration status, from taking effect. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Section 2(B) last month, but left the door open to other challenges.

Asian Americans and religion: Report highlights religious diversity, contrasts

A month after a Pew Research Center report on Asians becoming the nation's fastest-growing immigrant group faced criticism for downplaying Asian Americans' diversity, Pew has come back with a new report that focuses on the diversity of their religious beliefs.

In the news this morning: Children of deportees lack rights in Mexico, immigrant loses adoption battle over son, Arpaio profiling trial, mor

US-born kids of migrants lose rights in Mexico - Associated Press Because they lack the right paperwork in Mexico, many U.S.-born children of deportees who have gone there to live now find themselves "without access to basic services.

Asian Americans and religion: Report highlights religious diversity, contrasts

A new Pew report reveals some facts about Asian Americans and religion: While there are a growing number of Buddhists and Hindus, the majority in the U.S. are Christian, and many consider themselves unaffiliated with any particular faith.

Poll: Obama maintains wide lead among Latinos

It's too soon to know if Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's new Spanish-language ads touting his father's Mexican birthplace will see any payoff, but a new poll of Latino voters could well have him in an it's-time-to-try-anything position.

You’re too old for deferred action – now what?

It's been more than a month since President Obama announced that his administration would not pursue deportation for some young undocumented immigrants, instead allowing them to apply for deferred action, which would give them temporary legal status and relief from deportation.

In the news this morning: New attempt to block SB 1070, Romney pushes Mexican roots, online immigration petitions, voter purges, more

Groups seek to block Arizona immigration law - Associated Press Civil rights groups and others have filed suit in Phoenix to stop implementation of a provision of SB 1070 that would empower local police to check immigration status.

Mitt Romney's son in new TV ad: 'My grandfather George was born in Mexico' (Video)

Earlier this year in an interview with Univision, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talked about how he felt it would be "disingenuous" of him to claim Mexican heritage, although his father and grandfather were born in Mexico as descendants of Mormons who migrated from the United States.

You’re too old for deferred action – now what?

A new Obama administration policy will soon allow many young undocumented immigrants to apply for temporary legal status, but only if they are 30 and under. What happens to those who are slightly too old?