Leslie Berestein Rojas

Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter

Contact Leslie Berestein Rojas

Leslie Berestein Rojas is KPCC's Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter.

An award-winning journalist with several years’ experience reporting on immigration issues, Berestein Rojas most recently covered immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border for the San Diego Union-Tribune. She has retraced the steps of migrants along desert smuggling trails, investigated immigrant detention contractors, and told the stories of families left behind in Mexico’s migrant-sending towns.

A native of Cuba raised in Los Angeles, Leslie has also written for Time, People, the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times. She has reported from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

Stories by Leslie Berestein Rojas

Detained mothers file lawsuit seeking reunion with children

One of the mothers filing the suit is being held at an immigration facility in Irvine. She and her 16-year-old daughter were separated after crossing the border.

One migrant mother describes separation, reunion and trauma

Before the Trump administration reversed its policy of separating families caught crossing the southern border, thousands of parents and kids were divided.

Memorial Day event honors fallen soldiers of US and other nations

The National Cemetery in LA hosts an annual commemoration of fallen soldiers. This year representatives of 30 other countries attended to mark their dead too.

What you need to know about the DACA program now

If DACA court rulings and changing rules have you scratching your head, you're not alone. Here's where the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program stands now.

Orange County, other SoCal officials stand with White House at anti-sanctuary meeting

The White House billed the meeting as one to "discuss shared efforts to end the nullification of federal law and restore community safety.”

If families are separated at the border, where do kids go?

The Trump administration announced last week that adults caught crossing the border illegally will be prosecuted, and families will be separated.

What 'zero tolerance' on border crossings means for SoCal

The crackdown on illegal entries by families will have an impact in places like Los Angeles, home to a large community of Central Americans where many aim to settle.

US ends immigration protections for nearly 60,000 Hondurans

The Trump administration is ending special immigration status for nearly 60,000 Hondurans who have lived in the United States since a devastating hurricane two decades ago.

ICE has blasted California's sanctuary laws, but immigrant arrests in jails are up

California ICE arrests other than those occurring in the community went from 12,705 in fiscal year 2015 to 14,259 in fiscal year 2017.

LA's May Day march challenges Trump administration's immigration policies

The march's organizers say that the march is to "urge Angelenos to fight back attacks on workers, families, and communities by the Trump Administration."

Supreme Court to hear challenge to Trump travel ban

The court will consider Hawaii's challenge to the revised travel ban. At issue: whether officials can block entry of those from certain Muslim-majority countries.

Lawyer groups criticize DOJ fixes for immigration courts

Immigration attorneys say the Trump administration is ignoring a 2017 federal report that calls for improvements to the immigration court system.

What you need to know about refugees entries

Since taking office, President Trump has dramatically cut refugee admissions. In one of the latest developments, Iranian refugees who were stranded in Austria en route to the U.S. are suing.

LA street vending moves ahead. Here's what you need to know

The move to legalize vendors, more than four years in the making, got City Council approval. It does not include a controversial provision that would have given nearby brick-and-mortar business owners the power to veto vendor licenses.

This LA way station for WWII detainees gets a historical marker 76 years after closing

More than 2,000 immigrants, mostly Japanese but also Italian and German, were held there before many were sent to internment camps during WWII. Advocates for the designation want the historic monument to eventually extend into an oak grove, where the buildings actually stood.