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

Music video depicting burglars in 'Chinese neighborhood' angers Chinese-Americans

The video went up on YouTube in 2014, but lately it has been making the rounds on WeChat, a Chinese social media app. Some Chinese-Americans say it plays to racial stereotypes and is offensive.

Haitian deportations to resume as more arrive at California border

Most Haitians had been protected from deportation after that country’s devastating earthquake in January 2010, but those protections are being lifted.

Illegal immigration dips and diversifies in California

A new report finds that the number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has stayed roughly the same since 2009 and dropped a little in California. But the countries they are coming from have shifted.

Boyle Heights and the art of gentrification

Art galleries in Boyle Heights are drawing community objections, but at least one gallery director asks that not all art spaces be painted with the same brush.

LA supervisors move against immigration consultant fraud

Los Angeles County officials will draft an ordinance to license local immigration consultants as a way of better regulating them.

CA bill seeks more health data on Asians, Pacific Islanders

A bill headed to the governor’s office would require state health officials to collect data on 10 subgroups now labeled broadly as Asian or Pacific Islander.

How Syrian refugees in Southern California are settling in

More than 1,000 Syrian refugees have been resettled in California since last October when the U.S. began accepting migrants fleeing the war in their homeland.

Immigration plan would aid US startups' foreign investors

A new proposal would allow foreigners who have invested in a U.S. startup and hold at least a 15 percent stake to receive temporary residency here.

Bill to end private prisons for California immigrants moves forward

A state bill that would bar cities and counties from contracting with for-profit prison operators to hold immigrant detainees clears the Assembly.

DOJ private prison phase-out doesn't affect immigrant detention, but a California bill could

A state bill that would bar California cities and counties from contracting with private prisons for immigrant detention is set for a vote next week.

Brazilians in LA have mixed feelings about Rio Olympics

At Supermercado Brazil, a tiny Brazilian grocery store in Culver City, Mariana Pinheiro watched the opening ceremonies on Friday afternoon from her computer at the counter.

Anti-LGBT hate crime reports spike in Orange County

Reported hate crimes in Orange County rose slightly overall in the last year, a trend also seen statewide.

Pacific Islanders uprooting for cheaper, safer inland communities

More affordable housing has helped draw Pacific Islanders to the Inland Empire, away from areas closer to the coast where gang violence has caused some to leave.

Immigration case backlog hits record high

More than 500,000 cases are pending in federal immigration courts, the most ever recorded. Not enough judges and more Central America migration are contributing to the backlog.

Immigration agents target released criminal detainees

Over 100 men and women were arrested this week in Southern California in an ongoing effort to deport those with criminal records.