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

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?

In new TV spot, Romney's son touts Mexican roots

The ad is at odds with father's statement that it would be "disingenuous" for him to claim Mexican heritage.

From the Latino marketing files: Those 'unique' cleaning habits

It looks like Clorox is attempting to go head to head with Fabuloso, that of the candy colors and heady fragrance that screams "people from Latin America live here."

'Deportation pyramid' illustrates effects of deportation on children

The Journal of Marriage and Family has a fascinating new article on the effects of deportation on kids. The author, sociologist Joanna Dreby of New York's University of Albany, presents what's titled a "deportation pyramid," something she describes as similar to an "injury pyramid" used by public health professionals, to illustrate how children experience deportation and the threat of it.

In the news this morning: DHS expands database access for 'voter roll cleansing,' bill aims to keep deportees' families together, more

Feds expanding state access to immigration database for purpose of voter roll cleansing - Washington Post From the story: "Homeland Security Department representatives first notified Florida officials last week that they could check to see if registered voters are actually noncitizens who should not be eligible to cast a ballot.

‘Deportation pyramid’ illustrates its effects on children

A new study on the effects of deportation of children suggests that these go beyond the removal of an immigrant parent, with kids burdened by the simple fear of it occurring.

Fiat commercial's Italian 'immigrant' cars actually come from Mexico (Video)

There's much that's amusing about the new Fiat 500 commercial titled "Immigrants," which shows the little cars diving and driving into the water in Italy to emerge from the ocean in New York, with the Statue of Liberty reflected in one car's windshield.

New federal bill aims to keep children of deportees with family

A measure voted on last spring by the California Senate that could allow some immigrants in deportation to hold onto their children, avoiding the foster care system, has been joined at the federal level by a similar federal House bill.

The looming battle over Secure Communities and 'immigration detainers'

It's a matter of time before the long-brewing battle between local and state officials and the federal government over Secure Communities turns into one waged in the courts, suggests Adam Sorensen in a must-read piece today in TIME Magazine.