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

Why is Spanish-language media doing better than English-language media?

With the mainstream newspaper industry continuing its downward trajectory and an unsteady media climate in general, why is the outlook sunnier in Spanish-language newsrooms?

South LA's film students (Video)

The Urban Oasis Film Academy teaches the art of filmmaking to teens in South Los Angeles, allowing them to make films that have gone on to win awards and landed jobs for some in the film industry.

In the news this morning: A survey of American Muslims, Alabama immigration law blocked, Obama's uncle held by ICE, more

Survey: Muslim-Americans happier with conditions in US than broader public - Christian Science Monitor According to a new Pew Research Center report, "for the most part, Muslim-Americans disavow Islamic extremism, are happy with the way things are going in the country and in their lives, and are about as religious and educated as the general American public.

Scenes from the 'Blessing of the Grapes'

What is a Blessing of the Grapes? Guest blogger and comic Lory Tatoulian spent mid-August traveling around Southern California to various picnics associated with this traditional Armenian religious feast day/social event, and she brought her camera.

On 'Immigration Officers Vs. Obama'

The New Republic published an interview today with Chris Crane, president of the union that represents U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Crane and other union members in the agency responsible for carrying out the Obama administration's immigration policies have been vocally critical of the administration lately.

More reaction to California Dream Act from KPCC listeners

Last Friday I joined guest host David Lazarus of the Los Angeles Times on KPCC's AirTalk to discuss the California Dream Act, a package of two bills that would make it easier for undocumented college students to pay tuition.

Want to cook your favorite ethnic cuisine? Have an immigrant teach you

Here's a novel idea: With foodie interest in ethnic cuisines at an all-time high, why not bring together said foodies who want to learn how to cook with the people who know how to make these dishes best?

In the news this morning: Deportation reviews, Secure Communities, Perry bills feds for incarcerated immigrants, more

Deportation reviews raise some immigrants' hopes - Los Angeles Times Immigrant advocates are urging caution as the Obama administration plans to review nearly 300,000 deportation cases and terminate those considered a low priority.

New San Francisco mural addresses those who wouldn't qualify for Dream Act

The News Taco website has a piece on a new mural in San Francisco produced by a group called 67 Sueños, named for an estimated percentage of young undocumented people who don't qualify for the federal Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

The cultural mashup dictionary: Wi-5?

Overheard in a public library in South L.A., this language gem is what "wi-fi" can easily sound like to Spanish speakers' ears. There are, of course, those who prefer to turn the term into Spanish altogether, as in "el wifi" (pronounced "wee fee"), but say it out loud and it makes perfect sense: "el wi-five.

Reaction to the California Dream Act

A bill that would provide undocumented students in California with access to public financial aid for college is on its way to a Senate vote, but it isn't expected to have an easy ride.

The scene at an LA immigration protest this week (Video)

Videographer Mae Ryan was at an immigration rally earlier this week outside the federal building in downtown Los Angeles that led to several arrests. The protesters were calling for an end to U.

In the news this morning: California Dream Act, changes seen from new deportation policy, Latinos are largest minority on campus, more

California Senate panel OKs part of Dream Act - Los Angeles Times A state bill that would give college students who are undocumented access to public aid for the first time has moved out of committee and been cleared for a Senate vote.

Will the second part of the California Dream Act become law?

One of two measures that make up what's referred to as the California Dream Act was released from suspense in a state Senate committee today, and is expected to go to the Senate floor next week for a vote.

A first-person series on being 'Muslim and American' in OC

A few weeks ago, the Orange County Register sought submissions from the county's diverse population of Muslim immigrants their families to run as essays during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.