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

California bill targets cities' profit-making immigrant detention contracts

Cities and counties contracting with private companies for immigrant detention centers could be stopped under a California state bill.

Results for top LA County municipal elections

Voters cast ballots Tuesday across L.A. County, from Arcadia to Culver City. We've rounded up the latest results, and where you can get more information.

A new way to insure immigrants

State health officials could apply for a waiver to the federal Affordable Health Act to allow coverage for those in the country illegally. But first, the California Legislature must clear the way.

California poll shows GOP Latinos favor Cruz over Trump

A new Field Poll puts Ted Cruz ahead of Donald Trump among Republican Latinos for the GOP presidential nomination. Among all likely GOP voters surveyed, Trump leads.

Arcadia's planned anti-mansionization ballot initiative hits a wall

The Arcadia city clerk's office says activists gathering signatures made mistakes, meaning the initiative likely won't be on the ballot this year.

Voting project aims to pair US citizens with immigrants to vote 'together'

Vote Allies project seeks to pair those who can't vote with those who can in order to build engagement in this election year.

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.