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

Examining the high school dropout crisis

An NPR series this week has focused on the high school dropout crisis, which disproportionately affects black and Latino teens. According to U.S. Department of Education statistics, in spite of lower overall dropout rates since 1980, Latino teens' rates remain the highest.

In the news this morning: Muslim hearings resume, wealth gap grows as minority wealth drops, Alabama immigration lawsuit, more

Rep. Peter King Resuming Hearings On American Muslim Radicalization With Focus On Al-Shabab - CBS New York According to the New York Republican congressman, today’s hearing will focus on an organization he says has been recruiting American citizens of Somali descent in the Minneapolis-St.

Remembering the work of Gilbert 'Magu' Luján

Gilbert "Magu" Luján - Artist from Pedro Pablo Celedón on Vimeo.

Latinos hit worst as minority vs. white wealth gap reaches record

A report highlighted in an earlier post today questioned the long-term upward mobility of immigrants in the United States, in light of the recession and a predicted slow recovery. And at least as far as Latinos are concerned, the numbers in another new report seem to bear out the economic beating some have taken.

Growing up Persian in an Italian restaurant

Multi-American's sister blog DCentric in Washington, D.C. has been taking on the topic of food authenticity, in particular whether ethnic food that's prepared and served by chefs and proprietors of an ethnicity different from that of the cuisine is sufficiently "authentic.

Will the recession hurt immigrants' move up the economic ladder?

For much of the last century, the United States has provided a means of upward mobility for immigrants willing to work their way up the economic ladder. But with a slower economy predicted for the next several years, how will this affect their prospects?

In the news this morning: Brown signs part of California Dream Act, Obama at NCLR conference, Norway immigration debate, more

California Dream Act: Brown expands education options for undocumented students - Los Angeles Times Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law yesterday allowing access to privately funded financial aid for undocumented college students, and signaled that he would likely back a more controversial proposal that could give these students access to public financial aid for tuition.

American snapshot: Echo Park

The Costa Alegre restaurant, a long established fixture on Sunset Boulevard, advertises its new vegetarian menu - yet another sign of changing times in Echo Park.

Now that half the California Dream Act is law, what's next?

As students peered through bookshelves to catch a glimpse, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a piece of legislation known as AB 130 in the library of Los Angeles City College, a community college serving students on the working-class southern fringe of Hollywood.

What the California Dream Act's AB 130 does - and doesn't do

Although his staff hasn't come right out and said it, Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign part of a legislative package referred to as the California Dream Act today. Immigrant advocates expect the governor to sign legislation referred to as AB 130, recently approved in the state Senate, during a town hall meeting that Brown will attend this afternoon at Los Angeles City College.

In the news this morning: Obama courts Latinos, the Norway massacre and immigration, highly skilled immigrants, more

Obama Steps Up Campaign To Win Over Latino Voters - NPR Today President Barack Obama will address the National Council of La Raza, the largest Latino advocacy group in the country. It's part of the White House's ongoing effort to win over Latino voters.

ICE deportations by the numbers

The record deportations logged by the Obama administration continue on pace, with more people deported in fiscal year 2010 than ever before. This year promises similar numbers: ICE records through May 23 show that 243,821 people have been deported since last Oct.

'What makes a restaurant authentic?'

In a land where your sushi chef might be from Mexico, they guy who makes your pizza might be from El Salvador, and the owner of your favorite Cajun joint might be from Iran, how relevant is "authenticity" to a restaurant if the food is good? And what constitutes authenticity, anyway?

When parents don't approve of your interracial relationship

Not long after actress and writer Diane Farr exchanged her first "I love you" with her now-husband, Seung Yong Chung, he gave her some crushing news: Their relationship would not go over well with his Korean parents.

In the news this morning: Record deportations bolstered by traffic and DUI arrests, post-9/11 hate killer executed, in-state tuition, more

Report: Deportations hit record number - Politico The Obama administration deported a record number of people last year, nearly 400,000. The number was driven up by the deportations of a large number of people arrested for traffic violations and drunken driving.