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

Quote of the moment: A deported teenager, writing from Bangladesh

"I do not know the language and I fear going outside because I am different from everyone else. Speaking in English is an easy way to be targeted here. We cannot afford to live in a safer area.

Oral histories of Ellis Island go online

A collection of the oral histories of more than 1,700 immigrants who arrived through Ellis Island that was previously only available to visitors has gone online.

In the news this morning: Arizona legal woes, 'birth tourism,' and an odd twist to Discovery gunman story

Ariz. immigration law's legal costs could top $1 million - USATODAY.com (USA Today)

In the immigrant detention system, female detainees face risks

Earlier this month, I linked to a story out of Texas about a guard from an immigration detention facility being arrested for allegedly fondling female detainees. The only unusual thing about it was that he was arrested; the type of allegations made were not.

Since it's lunch time: Album Tacos

This is hands-down the most hilarious thing I've seen all week: Album Tacos, a new Tumblr site that features taco-fied versions of classic album covers. Call it the Taco Version.

The road to U.S. citizenship, on today's Patt Morrison show

This afternoon's Patt Morrison show on 89.3 KPCC will be examining the process of becoming a U.S. citizen: how long it takes, how expensive it is, and what it takes for immigrants to navigate a complicated legal system.

In the news this morning: More migrant kidnappings, grief in Latin America, another head scarf lawsuit and more

Police: Human smugglers kidnap 16 migrants in Mexico - CNN.com (edition.cnn.com)

Quote of the moment (circa 1751): A Founding Father on immigration

"Why should Pennsylvania ... become a Colony of aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us, instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our language or customs, any more than they can acquire our complexion?"

Gunman's rant referred to 'immigration pollution'

So while I was driving this afternoon, I missed the start of biggest national crime story so far today, an armed hostage crisis at the Discovery Channel headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland that ended with the gunman killed during a stand-off with police.

Another report: New immigrants do, in fact, assimilate

I promise that I won't post any more reports after this, but one released today by the Center for American Progress is pretty interesting. It's a report on immigrant assimilation that points to key benchmarks being met by relatively new immigrants.

Report points out sharp decline in illegal immigration

The Pew Hispanic Center has a new report out today that crystallizes what U.S. Border Patrol arrest statistics have been indicating for the past few years: The number of undocumented immigrants entering the United States has dropped off sharply, reduced by nearly two-thirds over the past decade.

In the news this morning: Illegal immigration down, big risks for those still crossing, and shots fired near mosque

Illegal immigration to U.S. down almost 67% since 2000, report says (The Washington Post)

Juarez makeup debacle comes to an end, but questions about what inspired it linger

The other night, while I was visiting with a few comadres, the talk turned to Ciudad Juarez. One woman had just seen the film "Backyard," a Mexican feature based on the hundreds of unsolved murders of women, many of them factory workers, in the border city.

After grumbling about immigrant neighbors, a writer examines her attitude

A thought-provoking piece in the Los Angeles Times by columnist Sandy Banks caught my attention earlier today.

Report: Foreign workers don't displace native-born

Several news outlets have stories today on a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco which concludes that foreign-born workers do not displace native-born ones.