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

Debating the 'i' word: Three different opinions, including one from the AP

Some popular opinion pieces recently have revived the long-running debate over the use of "illegal" as a way to describe immigrants in the United States without permission, with back-and-forth over what terms are or aren't acceptable alternatives and whether alternatives are even in order.

Survey: Majority says immigration policy is for the feds, not the states

More than three-fourths of Americans surveyed in a recent tracking study said immigration policy should be handled by the federal government; 20 percent said it should be left to the states.

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

We're well into July, which means it's time for another look at the wait times for family-sponsored visas. The long line has shifted somewhat, but it hasn’t budged much. According to the U.

In the news this morning: Another local attempt to limit S-Comm participation, Romney a no-show at NCLR, states' role in enforcement, more

Emanuel wants to make official undocumented immigrant detainer policy - Chicago Tribune Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to make official a policy that would have local police only detain undocumented immigrants who are suspected or convicted criminals for immigration officials; a similar policy is being weighed at the state level in California.

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

Some hopeful immigrants in the Philippines and Mexico who are being sponsored by relatives must wait more than two decades to move to the U.S. legally.

Remembering a time when Italians were targets of anti-immigrant sentiment

While researching a "prequel" novel to Mario Puzo's "The Godfather," Virginia Tech English professor Ed Falco came across some disturbing bits of long-buried Italian American history.

Secure Communities: How much latitude do states have?

The back-and-forth between the federal government and states over the federal Secure Communities immigration enforcement program goes back a long way, with controversy and confusion that began brewing shortly after the program first began rolling out in late 2008.

In the news this morning: New Egyptian president's Los Angeles ties, a fatal border shooting, states and the SB 1070 ruling, more

Egyptian President-Elect Has Ties To USC, CSUN - CBS Los Angeles Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically-elected president, reportedly received his Ph.D in engineering from the University of Southern California and was an assistant professor at Cal State Northridge in the early 1980s before he returned to Egypt.

Secure Communities: How much latitude do states have?

As California lawmakers weigh limiting local cops' participation in the controversial immigration enforcement program, how much flexibility do states really have? Recent House testimony from a top immigration official discusses state and local roles.

On the underrepresented 'model minority'

A report released late last month by Pew Research Center on Asians becoming the nation’s fastest growing new immigrant group is still drawing reaction, not so much for what it reported, but for the complexities it didn't.

The sad history of the 'no-noes' of Tule Lake, a WWII Japanese American internment camp

Of the 10 internment camps to which Japanese Americans were forcibly sent during World War II, perhaps the most familiar to Angelenos is Manzanar, the remains of which are still visible off U.

In the news this morning: States and the SB 1070 decision, deferred action-related scams feared, agents accused of smuggling, more

Plaintiffs argue Supreme Court's Arizona decision blunts Alabama immigration law - al.com Plaintiffs seeking to block Alabama's strict new anti-illegal immigration law are at odds with the state over how a recent U.

Posts of the week: Latino voters as independents, Secure Communities, the TRUST Act, Mexico's presidential election, more

It was one of those odd weeks with a holiday smack in the middle, but immigration news still happened. Especially in California, where the state Senate passed a controversial bill that would restrict the degree to which local and state cops cooperate with federal immigration agents.

What exactly does the TRUST Act do?

A measure approved by the California Senate yesterday that some have nicknamed the "anti-Arizona" bill has made headlines today. But some of these have been more confusing than others, so it's time for a brief dissection of what's known as the TRUST Act.

Is 'illegal' an 'uncomfortable truth' when used to describe immigrants?

A CNN guest opinion essay yesterday titled "Why 'illegal immigrant' is a slur," written by Latino marketing guru Charles Garcia, generated thousands of comments and some high-profile rebuttals.