Leslie Berestein Rojas

Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter

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

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.

House bill would give feds clout against sanctuary jurisdictions

One facet of a stringent new immigration bill in the U.S. House of Representatives aims to make local police like LAPD cooperate with immigration agents – whether they want to or not.

ICE arrests spike under Trump — in LA, not so much

​Immigration officials say in the president's first 100 days, immigrant arrests nationwide rose by 38 percent. In the Los Angeles area, arrests are up by about 5 percent.

Courts weigh Trump travel ban; some say damage already done

Some of those affected in Southern California say the ban has already had a chilling effect on local families bringing in relatives and those helping asylum seekers.

OC supervisors agree to rent more immigrant detention beds to ICE

Orange County supervisors have unanimously approved a plan to rent an additional 120 detention beds at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange under contract to immigration officials.

'Systemic' problems in immigrant detainee medical care, report says

Human rights advocates say untrained staff and medical delays are commonplace. Immigration officials responded saying they are "committed to ensuring the welfare of all those in the agency's custody."

How did May Day become a day for immigrant rights marches?

The day long known as International Workers' Day around the world is marked in the United States as a time when marchers take to the streets for immigrant rights.

LA Council candidate loses key support after offensive posts

City Council candidate Joe Bray-Ali says he's staying in the race against incumbent Gil Cedillo, although he's received a flood of criticism after his posting on online forums.

SoCal Dreamer 'repatriated' to Mexico files lawsuit

A 23-year-old California student is suing the federal government to learn its reasons for returning him to Mexico despite what his attorneys say is his DACA status.

Deported veterans hoping to return to US after Brown pardons crimes

The three veterans pardoned are not the only non-citizen military veterans who've been deported. But the three hope they can return with their crimes now pardoned.

5 things to know about prosecution of immigration offenses

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued a memo to federal prosecutors urging them to make certain immigration offenses "higher priorities," including in cases where people illegally cross the border multiple times.

LA County supervisors weigh immigrant legal aid

Under the proposal, the county would contribute up to $3 million to a fund that would combine money from the city of Los Angeles and philanthropic groups to create a $10 million resource for immigrants' legal defense. Immigrants convicted of violent felonies would be excluded from help.