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

Young Mexican-American athletes compete in the 'Mex Games'

The games are organized by the Mexican government as a way of drawing out star Mexican-American athletes. Some could go all the way to the Olympics.

Ethnic studies community mourns loss of academic pioneer

Asian studies professor Don Nakanishi died Monday in Los Angeles. He made headlines in the 1980s when he fought UCLA in order to be granted tenure.

Booty-lifting jeans shake their way into mainstream

In the U.S. Latino market, "butt lifting" jeans have been popular for years. Now, they're adding their junk to the trunk of mainstream fashion.

What to do with Mariachi Plaza? We asked the mariachis

The historic spot in Boyle Heights is owned by Metro, and the MTA has asked locals what should be developed there. The mariachis have some practical suggestions.

Arcadia mansions: Eyesore or a sight for sore eyes?

Opponents of mansionization say bigger homes ruin the city's character, but for some Asian residents, they're a way to house extended family.

What to build at Mariachi Plaza? Ideas run the gamut

Boyle Heights residents, business owners and other stakeholders threw out ideas at a Metro workshop this weekend. Ideas ranged from a market to a mariachi museum.

Metro wants to try again to develop Mariachi Plaza

A year after Metro scrapped a plan to build retail and office space at the iconic Boyle Heights plaza, the agency wants locals to weigh in on what they want.

Anti-Muslim hate crimes up sharply in LA County

The increase came in November and December, following the Paris and San Bernardino shootings. The crimes include violence, threatening phone calls and vandalism.

Here's the immigration rule Clinton, Sanders say they oppose

It's often called the “three- and 10-year bar.” The rule prevents immigrants who've lived in the US without legal status from coming back legally for up to 10 years.

2 schools connect to break stereotypes, one kid at a time

An annual exchange program between a Jewish school and a Muslim school brings kids together to learn about their similarities.

In an increasingly multiracial US, identity is a fluid thing

A growing number of Americans are multiracial, born to parents with two or more racial backgrounds. How they identify depends on their life experience.

Compton might finally get a movie theater

The city has faced high unemployment for decades, but locals are encouraged by new investment, namely a 70,000 square foot development that includes a theater.

New guidelines for blood donors after Zika spread

The Red Cross has asked blood donors to hold off on giving blood if they've returned from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central or South America within the past 28 days.

Need to renew your passport? Don't procrastinate

Federal officials are expecting a crush of renewal applications nearly a decade after tighter passport rules kicked in.

Eastsiders bid fond farewell to the 6th Street Bridge

For those who grew up near it, the iconic bridge that connects Boyle Heights to downtown was much more than an L.A. landmark.