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

Obama and immigration: More details from a poll of Latino voters

The results of a nationwide poll of Latino voters released last week found immigration to be a personal issue for many. Among other things, out of a sample of 500 registered voters in 21 states, 53 percent said they knew someone who is undocumented, and one-fourth said they knew a person or family who has faced immigrant detention or deportation.

In the news this morning: Latinos and redistricting, convicted BART officer released, a difficult decade for American Muslims, more

California redistricting: Latinos fret over redrawn map of California congressional districts - Los Angeles Times The executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials calls the proposed new maps of congressional districts the "worst-case scenario for Latinos in California.

Zebra print? Masks? The quinceañera has come a long way

Last Sunday I attended a quinceañera expo in Garden Grove for KPCC's Madeleine Brand Show, interviewing a few of the dozens of vendors who were there catering to parents of teenage girls preparing for the ultimate Latin American coming-of-age ritual.

Making sense of Alabama's new immigration law: Three good reads

Nearly a year after Arizona's SB 1070 took effect last July, the immigration spotlight has shifted to Alabama, where yesterday the governor signed an anti-illegal immigration law that is being described as the nation's most stringent yet.

Immigration issues hit home for Latino voters

Since early this year, the polling firm Latino Decisions has been working with impreMedia, parent company of the Spanish-language Los Angeles newspaper La Opinión, to produce a series of tracking polls measuring Latinos voters' attitudes.

In the news this morning: Alabama immigration law is nation's strictest, an immigration scam crackdown, immigrants and the economy, more

Alabama Illegal Immigration Law Tougher Than Arizona's - Fox News Latino Among other things, schools will have to check if students are in the country legally, and people stopped for any reason could be arrested on suspicion of immigration violations.

Second-generation restaurateurs, back in the kitchen

For the children of immigrants, the traditional food one was raised on provided more than sustenance. Into adulthood, it remains a connection to our parents and grandparents. Its familiar tastes and smells take us back to homes that were a piece of the old country in the new.

Immigrants with college degrees outnumber those without high school diplomas

A new report out today from the Brookings Institution notes what for many might be a surprising revelation: In the United States, immigrants with college degrees now outnumber those who didn't complete high school.

In the news this morning: Opting out of Secure Communities, fake immigration lawyers, immigrants and college, redistricting, more

Opting out of Secure Communities: Law, technology make it tough to not enforce controversial immigrant-focused program - 89.3 KPCC Among the complications as some states, cities and counties have tried to opt out of the fingerprint-sharing immigration enforcement program: States already share criminal fingerprint data with the FBI.

American snapshot: Garden Grove

A convention of quinceañeras? Close, actually. These young ladies were among the dress models at a quinceañera expo last weekend in a Garden Grove hotel ballroom, where dozens of vendors catering to the parents of teenage girls preparing for the Latin American coming-of-age ritual set up booths hawking everything from DJ services to makeup and, of course, dresses.

California Dream Act passes its first Senate test

Financial aid for undocumented college students paying tuition has inched a bit closer to becoming law in California, with part of the legislation dubbed the "California Dream Act" passing its first Senate test.

Two sheriffs, two takes on Secure Communities

In a three-part series this week, KPCC's Washington, D.C. correspondent Kitty Felde has been exploring the controversy over Secure Communities, a federal immigration enforcement program that also draws in local authorities.

In the news this morning: Secure Communities news, Section 8 lawsuit, Azusa gang indictment, some immigrants leaving Georgia, more

Texas Moves Ahead With Secure Communities Program — The Texas Tribune While some states have been moving away from the federal Secure Communities immigration enforcement program, Republican lawmakers in Texas are seeking to expand it.

L.A. votes to support a Secure Communities opt-out

Los Angeles city leaders have become the latest elected officials to shun the federal Secure Communities immigration enforcement program, which allows for the fingerprints of people booked into local jails to be shared with immigration authorities.

From readers, more 'tears' over scrapped visa lottery results

A post yesterday told the story of "22,000 Tears," a Facebook page set up by disappointed would-be immigrants to the United States who learned in early May that they had won immigrant visas in an annual federal lottery, then were soon informed there had been a computer error and that the lottery results would be voided.