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

From readers, thoughts on the Dream Act

The upcoming Dream Act vote has generated by far the most reader comments in Multi-American's young history. Some readers have argued back and forth with one another on the proposed legislation.

Waiting for a Dream Act vote

Students are gathered at the UCLA Downtown Labor Center this morning to make last-minute calls to legislators and await a vote on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would grant conditional legal status to qualifying undocumented youths who attend college or join the military.

In the news this morning: Dream Act coming up for a vote, AZ-style law proposed for CA, more

DREAM Act, Immigration Reform Bill to Get House, Senate Votes - ABC News Both the House and the Senate are expected to vote today on the measure, which would provide a conditional path to legal status for undocumented youths who attend college or enlist in the military.

A candlelit rally in L.A. as Dream Act vote nears

With a vote on the Dream Act expected as early as tomorrow, enthusiasm mixed with jangled nerves tonight at a candlelight rally held by supporters in downtown Los Angeles.

DREAM Act dollars: A roundup of reports

Different estimates have been floated around in recent weeks as to what the DREAM Act represents in dollars and cents: How much money it may cost, and how much money it may generate.

In the news this morning: DREAM Act updates, LAPD and racial profiling, Supreme Court hears AZ employer law, NY deportee pardons, more

Reid files cloture as House, Senate poised to vote on DREAM Act - The Hill Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture last night on the DREAM Act, setting up an upper-chamber vote for as early as Wednesday morning.

A sneak peek at one 'Corrido of L.A.' entry

In late September, I wrote about an unusual songwriting contest for the "The Corrido of L.A."

Bloggingheads debate takes on DREAM Act

Over the weekend Bloggingheads.tv posted an interesting back-and-forth on the DREAM Act between Josh Bernstein, immigration policy director for the Service Employees International Union, which supports the bill, and Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.

Blogger El Random Hero and Superman: Something in common?

Zócalo Public Square has posted a bittersweetly humorous essay by L.A. blogger El Random Hero, aka Erick Huerta, who also happens to be undocumented.

In the news this morning: DREAM Act updates, GOP in CA split on proposed immigration law, behind the record deportations, more

Immigration vote set for this week - Scott Wong - Politico Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to file a cloture motion on the DREAM ACT Monday night, setting up a Wednesday vote.

Tamales, champurrado, a cold December night

Tonight I braved the southbound I-5 to make it to a favorite annual holiday event in San Diego, December Nights, which draws what seems like half the city to Balboa Park for two nights to eat, take in the lights, duck into the museums and listen to carolers.

Report finds educational disparities between Asian, Hawaiian, Pacific Islander subgroups

A new report reveals wide gaps in the educational achievements of different Asian ethnic groups in California, with big disparities between Asian-American, Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students.

NewsHour Connect: Democrats tighten DREAM Act, hoping to appeal to GOP

Yesterday's PBS NewsHour Connect featured a segment on the retooled version of the DREAM Act, which federal lawmakers are expected to vote on next week, the student activism surrounding the bill and its chances in Congress.

In the news this morning: DREAM Act analysis, OC civil rights history, Ron Santo, more

NewsHour Connect: Democrats Tighten DREAM Act in Hopes of Appealing to Republicans - PBS NewsHour A rundown on the streamlined version of the bill introduced this week, student activism and its chances of success in Congress, with analysis from me.

RIP Le Van Ba, the Vietnamese sandwich king

If there is anything good that came out of French colonialism in Indochina, it's the bánh mì, otherwise known as the Vietnamese sandwich. And the man who helped popularize it in California was Le Van Ba.