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

'And what do you call yourself...?': Readers on the census and ethnic identity

A post last week headlined "Should the census change how Latinos are counted?" addressed the U.S. Census Bureau's proposed changes to how Latinos self-indentify on census forms, which now ask them for their race, then to check a box as to whether they are of "Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin.

Deferred action details as Wednesday's application date nears

For the past two months, at least hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants have been rushing to compile the paperwork they'll need to apply for deferred action, a form of temporary legal status that's part of a new Obama administration policy announced in June.

In the news this morning: Paul Ryan and Latino voters, TRUST Act, cost of deferred action, the fate of an undocumented law school grad, more

Does Paul Ryan mean Romney has already lost the Latino vote? - Reuters An opinion piece on GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's standing among Latino voters, "the worst for a Republican presidential candidate since 1996," and his choice of Rep.

Reactions to Romney-Ryan (and not Romney-Rubio) as GOP team

In case anyone is just waking up now, Republican presidential candidate and nominee-apparent Mitt Romney has opted not to go with a Latino vice-presidential candidate, after months of speculation that he might.

'I have most of the requirements except one': Another reader on deferred action

Starting next Wednesday, many young undocumented immigrants who arrived here before age 16 may begin applying for deferred action, a form of temporary legal status that's part of a new Obama administration policy.

Changing how the census identifies Latinos: Does it complicate an already tricky question?

As the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to simplify how Latinos are counted by proposing to make them more of an exclusive category, regardless of race, does this only further complicate the already tricky question of Latino/Hispanic identity?

In the news this morning: Arpaio trial closing arguments, deferred action and the promise of better jobs, 'Shenandoah' documentary, more

Arpaio lawyers say discrimination charge unproved - Arizona Daily Star During closing arguments, attorneys for Phoenix's Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told a federal judge that "a group of Latino plaintiffs failed to prove during a civil trial that the sheriff or any of his deputies engaged in unconstitutional racial profiling.

What's next for SB 1070's Section 2(B)

The most controversial provision of Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law could take effect very soon, but not before the judge who originally blocked it two years ago has her say.

In the news this morning: Candidates pitch DREAM Act for Democratic party platform, deferred action scams, hate rock, more

Democratic candidates pitch DREAM Act for platform - Associated Press Three Senate candidates are asking delegates to the Democratic National Convention to make supporting the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act part of the party platform.

Should the census change how Latinos are counted?

The U.S. Census Bureau has long struggled with how to count Latinos, or more accurately, those described on census forms as "Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin.” It's always been tricky.

A mixed-race lineage more complicated than imagined: On the implications of President Obama's possible link to a slave

Author Erin Aubry Kaplan has written a thoughtful piece for the Los Angeles Times on a fascinating recent genealogical find: According to researchers at Ancestry.com, President Obama may likely be a descendant of the first black man to be defined as a slave in the early American colonies - and not via the African side of his family.

More young people may qualify for deferred action than previously thought

Now that Homeland Security officials have issued detailed guidelines on who may may qualify for deferred action, temporary legal status that young undocumented immigrants can apply for under a new Obama administration plan, it looks like there could be more applicants in the pipeline than estimated before.

American snapshot: Halal teriyaki Mexican ramen?

Yes, it does exist. Blogger/sociology grad student Calvin Ho posted this on his Asian diasporas blog, The Plaid Bag Connection:

Should the census change how Latinos are counted?

The U.S. Census Bureau is experimenting with new ways for Latinos to identify themselves on census forms. In 2010, they were asked to identify by race, then by ethnicity.

In the news this morning: Florida undocumented law school grad gets good news, white-power music and the Sikh temple shooting, more

Undocumented Immigrant Can be Lawyer, Florida Bar Says - Fox News Latino The Florida Board of Bar Examiners has concluded that Jose Godinez-Samperio, an undocumented law school graduate who arrived in the U.