Leslie Berestein Rojas

Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter

Contact Leslie Berestein Rojas

Southern California is home to many new immigrants -- about a third of L.A. County residents are foreign born. Immigrants are creating an evolving definition of "American." I will deepen the understanding of how immigrants are changing the region and how L.A. changes immigrants.

Stories by Leslie Berestein Rojas

LA City Council approves $2M for immigrant defense fund

The council voted 11-1 Friday to contribute the money to the L.A. Justice Fund to cover legal services for immigrants fighting deportation.

Lincoln Heights father fighting deportation wins one victory

A judge set aside a 1998 misdemeanor conviction against Romulo Avelica Gonzalez, who immigration agents arrested after he dropped off a daughter at school.

LA County approves funding to fight deportations

Los Angeles County supervisors voted 4-1 to contribute $3 million over the next two years to a fund that will combine county, city, and philanthropic money to cover legal costs for immigrants facing deportation. But those convicted of violent felonies will be excluded from the county money.

Trump administration lets DACA stand for now

The Trump administration says it won’t shut down the program that allows young immigrants to live and work temporarily in the U.S., but its future is unclear.

California moves to bar local government from immigrant detention contracts

Existing agreements to provide detention space would stand under the measure, but local governments would be unable to expand contracts to add more beds.

6 immigrants end hunger strike at Adelanto detention center

The men, who had refused meals at the Adelanto facility, have begun eating again. Supporters say they are protesting what they call poor living conditions.

LA immigration activist case highlights ICE discretion

A judge ordered Immigrant rights activist Claudia Rueda released from detention but her deportation case is moving forward as supporters push officials to drop it.

Immigration focus remains on border, not visa overstays

People who arrived in the U.S. legally on temporary visas are believed to make up more than 40 percent of the unauthorized immigrant population.

Labor Department officials plan worker visa fraud crackdown

The move recalls Southern California cases of alleged visa abuses, but Asian community advocates say it's an anti-immigrant move.

New app to help detained immigrants — in 5 languages

A Korean-American group based in Los Angeles has partnered with volunteer developers to create a smartphone app for unauthorized immigrants stopped by authorities.

In House race, Democrats battle over who's more progressive

In a 34th Congressional District candidates' forum Thursday, perhaps the most contentious point between Jimmy Gomez and Robert Ahn was just how progressive the other really is.

Immigration agents arrest nearly 200 in LA-area raids

Immigration agents arrested nearly 200 people suspected of being in the country illegally in a five-day raid in the Los Angeles area, authorities said Thursday.

Proposed federal budget slips in penalty for 'sanctuary cities'

Buried in President Trump’s proposed federal budget is language that would cut some funding to governments that don't comply with immigration agents.

LA earmarks $1M for immigrant defense, but debate's not over

The budget earmarks $1 million this year for the legal defense fund, but city officials must still approve policy details, including who benefits.

LA case highlights rise of non-criminal immigrant arrests

When it comes to arresting immigrants, law enforcement officials have long prioritized those with criminal records. That's changing under Trump.