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

American snapshot: Logan Circle, D.C.

Calvin Ho of the L.A.-based Asian diaspora blog The Plaid Bag Connection encountered this - Ethiopian injera bread, served on a standard-issue Chinese restaurant plate - while visiting Washington, D.

Why any action seen on immigration reform is 'likely to be narrower and targeted'

There's a good Q&A today with Council on Foreign Relations immigration expert and author Edward Alden on the council's website. In it, Alden parses out some of the nuances of the developments seen lately on immigration: the administrative changes announced by the Obama administration that would make it easier for some relatives of U.

In the news this morning: Obama promises immigration reforms, children of immigrants moving abroad to work, more

Obama pledges to pursue immigration reform in second term - The Hill In an interview with the Spanish-language network Univision, President Obama promised to pursue comprehensive immigration reform if elected for a second term but said "Republicans in Congress may keep him from succeeding.

Two other murder victims near USC this year, both young men of color

The intensive news coverage of the murder of two international graduate students from China this week near the University of Southern California is understandable: two young people, Wu Ying and Qu Ming, both 23, struck down senselessly in what seemed like a random carjacking or robbery attempt; the fact that both were foreign students far from home, possibly less than familiar with the dangers of their environs; the juxtaposition of a high-cost private university with its working-class surroundings; and the safety concerns for other students arising in the aftermath.

Beyond the label, why Latino/Hispanic identity is hard to define

The people who check the box on census forms that reads “Hispanic, Latino or of Spanish Origin” are members of a group that is so culturally, racially, even politically diverse, they defy a cohesive definition.

A USC international student on victim-blaming, and what studying far from home is really like

The murder of two international graduate students from China near the University of Southern California campus this week, in a possible failed carjacking, has been called a parents' worst nightmare.

Three California bills take aim at school suspensions, which disproportionately affect students of color

Last month, a federal Department of Education report that looked at public school discipline quantified a disproportionate amount of discipline aimed at students of color, with black students, especially boys " and to a lesser degree, Latino students " subject to more suspension, more expulsion, and when they are disabled, more physical restraint than their white peers.

In the news this morning: Profiling alleged in Zimmerman case, Muslims to sue over border scrutiny, Arizona's ethnic studies ban, more

Prosecutors: George Zimmerman 'profiled' Trayvon Martin - Miami Herald A probable-cause affidavit filed by two investigators for the prosecution in the Trayvon Martin murder case accuses shooter George Zimmerman of “profiling” the teenager and assuming him to be a criminal, but it doesn't mention race.

Report: Latinos are more LGBT tolerant than we think

As conventional wisdom goes, Latinos are not the most tolerant group when it comes to accepting homosexuality. But this is more perception than reality, a new report says.

Readers on pain, stereotypes, and the Oikos shooting

A post earlier this week featured what began as an experiment: An online panel of seven people, professors of Asian American studies, psychology, ethics, world religions and English, all of them Asian Americans themselves, answering questions and sharing an open discussion about the uncomfortable undercurrents swirling beneath the story of a tragic mass murder in Oakland.

In the news this morning: Chinese students and the USC shooting, George Zimmerman heads to court, gunmen attack migrants in Arizona, more

Shaken by shooting, Chinese still seek US colleges - Associated Press The shooting deaths this week of University of Southern California graduate students Qu Ming and Wu Ying, both from China, came amid a steep rise in Chinese students pursuing higher education in the U.

Quotes of the moment: Angelenos reflect on the 1992 riots

Listeners posted some incisive comments this afternoon about the 1992 Los Angeles riots and how the city has changed - or hasn't - on a related segment page for KPCC's Patt Morrisson Show.

How safe do you feel in L.A.? It depends on your race

Angelenos needn't brace themselves for another riot anytime soon, according to a new survey released today. But they don't see life in the city the same way, with differences in how they perceive race relations, their safety, and other aspects of life depending at least somewhat on their race and ethnicity.

L.A. County inmates released to ICE, by the numbers

Crowding, violence and allegations of civil rights abuses are among the reasons the embattled Los Angeles County jail system is under federal investigation. But the county has also faced criticism in recent years in some circles for its federal-local partnerships with immigration authorities.

Legal status without a path to citizenship? It's not a new idea

In a piece in the Huffington Post today, La Opinión's Pilar Marrero gets at the roots of the limited-legality idea that forms part of a yet-to-be-introduced immigration reform proposal being floated by Republican senator Marco Rubio of Florida.