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

As violence mounts back home, are Egyptian Americans losing hope?

At the beginning of this year, as the protests in Egypt that eventually led to the toppling of president Hosni Mubarak were heating up, there were many Coptic Christian Egyptians in Egypt and abroad who were apprehensive, less confident about what might happen in Mubarak's absence than the majority of those in the crowds rallying in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

American snapshot: Lawndale

A pumpkin piñata gets cozy with a cupcake outside a piñata shop promoting its seasonal wares on Lawndale's Marine Avenue. The small South Bay city is more than 60 percent Latino; Asian and African American residents together make up about 20 percent of the population.

Latino voters say yes to health care reform, no to mandatory insurance

What do Latino voters think of the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law's provisions and whether it should be repealed? As it often goes, their opinions are mixed.

What's wrong with Spanglish, anyway?

It's not proper Spanish and it's not proper English, but the hybrid of Spanish and English that has evolved (and continues to) over generations of immigration from Latin America deserves more respect than it gets, argues blogger Chantilly Patiño of Bicultural Mom.

In the news this morning: Racial profiling lawsuit in Glendale, Brown defends CA Dream Act, immigration and the GOP, fear in Alabama, more

ACLU files suit over alleged racial profiling of Glendale students - Los Angeles Times The lawsuit alleges that about 55 Latino students at Hoover High School in Glendale, Calif. were illegally detained, searched and questioned.

'John and Ken' complaints prompt Latino groups to picket Clear Channel

Several Latino organizations took their complaint against KFI-640 AM's "John and Ken" talk show to the street today, picketing outside the offices of Clear Channel Communications in Burbank to call for the firing of hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou.

'Occupy the Hood' and the lack of minority Occupy protesters

The "Occupy" movement been criticized as being disproportionally white. Why, and what to do about it? Multi-American's sister blog DCentric at WAMU in Washington, D.C. examines this in a post today, speaking with members of a sub-movement known as Occupy the Hood.

In the news this morning: Alabama protests affect poultry industry, slower times on the border, another state immigration law challenged, mo

Hispanics skip work to protest immigration law - Forbes A work stoppage yesterday held to protest a strict new state immigration law appeared largest in northeast Alabama, the hub of the state's profitable poultry industry.

Readers gone wild (on the California Dream Act)

There is a very long and still-growing list of comments in response to a few recent posts on the California Dream Act, part of it signed Saturday by Gov. Jerry Brown. Last I checked it was nearing 200 comments, and that's just in response to posts from recent days.

Undocumented student activists in LA get audience with federal officials, get arrested

UPDATED: Five students were arrested altogether, and released later with citations. From the story this afternoon from KPCC's Corey Moore:

'Moral turpitude' gets people deported, but what is it?

The term "moral turpitude" sounds like something related to what in the religious world is commonly referred to as sin. But it's used in the immigration courts to define a wide range of criminal offenses, some serious, others as minor as shoplifting.

In the news this morning: Work stoppage protests in Alabama, bilingual babies, migration from Central America drops, more

Ala. Hispanics Organizing Campaign Against Law - ABC News Large poultry plants are planning to close or scale back operations due to a work stoppage being promoted by Latinos in Alabama and their supporters in protest of a strict new state immigration law.

Doctors who treat Latinos aren't confident they can provide the best care

Disparities in medical services have long landed minorities on the losing end of the health care system, with several studies documenting the lack of quality care experienced by many black Americans.

More minority teachers = more successful minority students?

Ezra Klein's Wonkblog at the Washington Post has highlighted a study in California that found better classroom performance and a lower class dropout rate among minority community college students who were taught by minority instructors.

Mixed status: 'Many people just don't understand what families in my position are'

A couple of posts in the last month or so have addressed the mixed-status family, a phenomenon that is all too common in the United States.