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

Immigrant Families Are Dropping Public Benefits, And A Proposed Trump Rule Could Be Why

There's been much speculation that a proposed Trump administration residency rule would push immigrant families to drop out of public health, nutrition and other programs out of fear. Enrollment data suggests that it may have played a role.

Is Census Citizenship Question On Or Off? Trump Tweet Causes Confusion

After losing in the Supreme Court, the government has started printing census forms without a citizenship question. But on Wednesday President Trump surprised his own administration by tweeting that he's not giving up the fight to include the question.

Do Latinos In California Today Face More Obstacles To Cracking The Middle Class Ceiling?

The second of two stories for the California Dream series explores how in spite of a growing Latino middle class, with rising median household incomes and Latino poverty rates at an all-time low, many California families continue to struggle.

A Growing Latino Middle Class: One Family’s Journey

The first of two stories for the California Dream series explores the growth of the Latino middle class as children and grandchildren of immigrants come of age, and Latino median household incomes rise. But in California, some of the very opportunities that helped previous generations succeed are becoming more elusive.

LA Immigrant Advocates Cheer SCOTUS Decision On Census Citizenship Question

Immigrant advocates and local politicians gathered at L.A.'s Grand Park to celebrate Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that keeps a citizenship question off the 2020 census, at least for the time being.

La Luz del Mundo church leader charged with child rape

The leader of the Guadalajara, Mexico-based church La Luz del Mundo was facing arraignment Wednesday in Los Angeles on charges including rape and human trafficking.

Migrants released by feds at Southern California bus stations

Border Patrol officials confirmed that they’ve recently dropped migrants off at bus stations in Southern California. The agency said large numbers in Border Patrol custody have "placed us at the breaking point.”

LA day laborers recognized on first 'Dia del Jornalero'

Last month, the City Council declared May 3 "El Dia del Jornalero," the day of the day laborer. We talked to workers at a nonprofit day labor center near downtown.

Lawsuit seeks to stop transfer of immigrant detainees from OC jails

The ACLU is suing to stop immigration officials from transferring detained immigrants out of Orange County jails. The lawsuit follows an announcement in late March by the county, which said it will end its contract to house detainees for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

LA street vendors can sell legally now, but costs are a worry

Some street vendors who cheered the City Council's move to legalize sidewalk sales back in November are now worried about whether they'll be able to afford the cost of operating legally. Others are upset about having to leave the no-vending zones the city created, including the busy Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Nipsey Hussle's murder rattles LA's tight-knit Eritrean community

The murder last month of L.A. rapper, entrepreneur and community activist Nipsey Hussle focused attention on a small but tight-knit community of East African immigrants: Eritreans, who have lived in Southern California for decades.

How white supremacists are recruiting educated 'normies' around LA

"You're talking about people who have legitimate jobs, or college students, college graduates. And then, they try to use that base to legitimize their movement."

Adelanto pulling out of detention contracts, but ICE facility there may grow

The high desert city of Adelanto has decided to cancel its contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Geo Group, the company that operates a large immigrant detention center there.

Hate groups try for mainstream appeal as they recruit in SoCal

White supremacist propaganda has been showing up at an alarming rate throughout Southern California and around the country. It's been found on local college campuses, high schools, and in local communities. Experts say one reason is because some hate groups are eager to recruit new members.

With Census 2020 a year away, officials worry about an undercount

Los Angeles county and city officials talked up the 2020 Census at a downtown L.A. rally on Monday, a year ahead of when the decennial count is set to take place. They’re trying to spread the word that an accurate count is critical because census data helps determine how many federal dollars go toward things like public health services and public schools.