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

'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.

Southern California must-trys: Filipino tacos and 'flan icing'

KPCC intern Ariel Edwards-Levy is on a mission to find some of the more intriguing tastes to come out of Southern California's cultural stew. We could call it fusion, but we won't. Let's just call it what comes naturally in a place like this.

More ethnic reality TV, this time with Muslims

The ethnic reality show phenomenon continues, this time with Muslims. The Hollywood Reporter and other entertainment trade publications are reporting on the planned November debut of a show called "All-American Muslim," which will follow five families in Dearborn, Michigan, a large and long-established Middle Eastern immigrant enclave.

In the news this morning: Bill to end visa lottery goes to House, S.F.'s undocumented population, Georgia's immigration enforcement panel, m

House Judiciary Committee votes to send bill abolishing visa lottery program to full House - The Washington Post The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would abolish the U.

'I feel so sad:' More from the lottery visa 22,000

A post earlier this week on how the Diversity Visa Lottery Program is under fire following a computer-glitch fiasco last May has yielded, perhaps not surprisingly, some emotional comments on this website from people describing themselves as would-be winners.

In light of recent ICE memo, a primer on 'prosecutorial discretion'

Last month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton issued a memo to the agency's employees urging the use of prosecutorial discretion in the cases of certain immigrants, among them people who grew up in the United States after arriving here as children, and those who have served the military and their families.

He asked 'Where are you from?' Hate crime victim remembers, forgives

It's a remarkable story: A hate crime victim who was shot in the face and left partly blinded in one eye during a post-9/11 killing spree, now petitioning to spare the life of his attacker.

In the news this morning: Possible immigration overhaul bill, the undocumented population in CA, AZ seeks border fence donations, more

Sen. Chuck Schumer tries reviving immigration bill - Politico The Democratic senator from New York says he plans to hold a hearing next week on economic arguments for an immigration overhaul.

Counting California's undocumented immigrants - by their tax returns

A new report in which taxpayer records were used to estimate California's undocumented immigrant population by county is interesting on a couple of counts. First, the report from the Public Policy Institute of California estimates that Los Angeles County is home to a little under one million undocumented immigrants, 9.

Are Latinos the ultimate smartphone users?

It's been reported recently that smartphones are helping narrow the digital divide, particularly among Latinos, the group with the least access to home broadband. But it gets better than that, according to a piece on the ClickZ marketing news site today, which makes the case that Latinos are in fact leading the smartphone charge.

The nation's ethnic-generational divide, illustrated

There's a generational component to the racial and ethnic shift taking place in the United States population, with minority youths poised to become a majority in the not-too-distant future.

In the news this morning: Hate crime victim tries to save his attacker, GOP group seeks Latino candidates, Iraqi refugees under scrutiny, mo

The Hater and the Hated, Both Touched by Crime - New York Times Q&As with Rais Bhuiyan, a Pakistani immigrant shot in the face after September 11, 2001, and with Mark Anthony Stroman, the man who shot him.

Calling all home food fusionistas, aka 'cultural mash-up eaters'

While retweeting a Multi-American post about Japanese tuna melt donuts today, the consistently engaging @HyphenMagazine introduced me to a great recent piece on the different types of "cultural mash-up eaters" that exist out there.