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-bound Armenian Christians held up in travel ban's wake

A group of Armenian Christian refugees are awaiting their fate in Iran after they got caught in the backwash of President Donald Trump's travel ban.

ICE officials announce 160 arrests in SoCal this week

Immigration officials have conducted an “enforcement surge,” arresting 161 undocumented people over five days. They say the arrests are part of the periodic enforcement actions that they have conducted in recent years.

LA-area lawyers say feds ramped up arrests of immigrants

Los Angeles area attorneys report they've gotten a higher than usual number of calls from relatives of undocumented immigrants arrested by ICE officials.

Federal appeals court refuses to reinstate Trump travel ban

A federal appeals court refused Thursday to reinstate President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations, dealing another legal setback to the new administration's immigration policy.

Yemenis stuck by travel ban arrive in LA

An order by a federal judge in Seattle suspended the temporary travel ban and allowed the Yemenis to fly to Los Angeles. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to rule on the Trump administration's appeal of that order this week.

Yemenis head to LA as travel ban heads to appeals court

Twenty Yemeni immigrants whose travel to Los Angeles was halted by President Trump's ban will be flying to LAX, but uncertain if the restrictions will be reinstated.

Yemenis and relatives wait for visas despite LA court order

While one Iranian immigrant sent back by officials under President Trump's travel ban has been returned to Los Angeles, a group of Yemenis still await their visas.

Judge orders temporary halt to travel ban for immigrant visas

A group of travelers from Yemen is stranded in Africa under Trump's temporary travel ban covering seven Muslim-majority countries. A federal court order covers all with immigrant visas and green cards.

OC refugee with cancer tells of 5-hour ordeal at LAX

An Iraqi refugee on her way back to Los Angeles, where her husband and children awaited, was stopped by federal agents. Then her five-hour ordeal began.

LAX border agents asked detainees to sign away US residency, attorneys say

Attorneys for people held under President Trump's immigration ban at LAX say border agents tried to get the detainees to abandon their legal residency status.

Judge halts Trump immigration order after detentions at airports like LAX

The federal court decision follows a petition filed by ACLU on behalf of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations detained at airports across the country, including LAX.

Trump calls for new limits, tougher vetting procedures for immigrants

President Donald Trump's executive order is aimed at screening out "radical Islamic terrorists" and temporarily limiting refugees, including those bound for California.

Sanctuary cities take calculated risks as Trump moves in

More local cities have adopted so-called sanctuary policies that are immigrant-friendly. But the new administration could pull federal funding from such cities.

CA Congressman Darrell Issa introduces bill to reform the H1B visa

With the topic of U.S. jobs filled by foreign workers fanning the heat of the presidential campaign, there's a new House bill that would restrict a controversial visa program for highly skilled overseas employees.

LA County votes to set up its own immigrant affairs office

The multilingual office would coordinate and streamline access to services for immigrants, county officials say.