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

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?

'Junior Seau meant so much to me and many other Samoan youth'

Junior Seau wasn't the first Samoan American player in the NFL, but he was considered a role model among many of those who followed him into pro football. Seau, 43, was found dead this afternoon in his Oceanside, Calif.

American Apparel's controversial CEO on immigration policies and the economy

In case you missed it yesterday amid the sea of May Day-related stories, KPCC's BlogDowntown featured an interview with Dov Charney, the famously controversial CEO of American Apparel, the über-hip clothing company behind "Legalize LA.

In the news this morning: Smaller immigrant rights crowds on May Day, Romney and Latinos, legal residents and political campaigns, more

Where Immigration Rallies Once Drew Hundreds of Thousands, Few Turn Out - Fox News Latino Participation in May Day immigration rallies yesterday was a fraction of what it was back during the massive protests of 2006, and this year the rallies were overshadowed by the Occupy movement.

American snapshot: May Day downtown, today

KPCC's Mae Ryan has been in downtown L.A. this afternoon snapping photos of various protesters as a series of May Day marches converge, including an immigrant rights march.

Beyond May Day and marches, an evolving immigrant rights movement

As an immigrant rights marchers wind their way through downtown Los Angeles this afternoon in one of a series of rallies tied to May Day in L.A. and throughout the country, today marks the sixth anniversary of a historic event that drew hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the city's streets.

American snapshot: A worker on Workers' Day, downtown

One of several May Day rallies taking place in Los Angeles today is an immigrant rights march downtown this afternoon, the latest in a series of annual large rallies organized by immigrant rights advocates each May 1 since 2006, the year of the so-called “Great American Boycott.

Who had the longest wait for an immigrant visa this month?

Illegal immigration to the U.S. may have slowed, but the long line for legal entry that many blame in part for driving some to take the illegal route doesn't seem to be moving any more quickly.