Leslie Berestein Rojas

Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter

Contact Leslie Berestein Rojas

Southern California is home to many new immigrants -- about a third of L.A. County residents are foreign born. Immigrants are creating an evolving definition of "American." I will deepen the understanding of how immigrants are changing the region and how L.A. changes immigrants.

Stories by Leslie Berestein Rojas

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.

More restrictions sought for visa program popular with tech firms

A San Diego County congressman wants to tighten requirements for H-1B visas that allow highly skilled foreigners to take jobs that companies say they can't fill with U.S. workers.

Immigration debate stirred anew by SoCal parents addressing GOP convention

Parents of young Southern Californians killed in encounters with unauthorized immigrants blamed illegal immigration for their deaths at the GOP convention Monday.

Asylum seekers are learning to represent themselves

With low-cost legal help in short supply, immigrants are taught to serve as their own lawyers, even while some question such support.

Immigrants a largely invisible segment of LA's homeless population

L.A. County's growing homeless population includes immigrants who came to the United States to earn a better living but have been squeezed by high rents and low pay.

After a week of violent shootings, what to tell the kids?

African-American parents have long had the "driving while black" talk with their kids. Recent officer-involved deaths of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota and the Dallas sniper deaths of five police officers make the conversations even more complicated.

Dallas attacks represent 'schism' in America, LAPD chief says

Police officers across Southern California are wearing black bands across their badges to mourn the deaths of five of their colleagues in Dallas.

No permits, but some unauthorized California immigrants work legally

Despite a Supreme Court ruling freezing President Obama's plan to grant work permits to certain unauthorized immigrants, some find they can work within the law.

Muslims tout Ramadan charity work to combat Islamophobia

SoCal Muslim groups always do charity work during the holy month of Ramadan. This year they called attention to it as a way to combat negative stereotypes.

In LA's immigrant enclaves, July 4 takes on different forms, flavors - and meanings

Snapshots of celebrations in South Gate and Monterey Park, among the many local places that immigrants and their children call home.