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Richard Gonzales

Richard Gonzales is NPR's National Desk Correspondent based in San Francisco. Along with covering the daily news of region, Gonzales' reporting has included medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California relevant to the rest of the country.

Gonzales joined NPR in May 1986. He covered the U.S. State Department during the Iran-Contra Affair and the fall of apartheid in South Africa. Four years later, he assumed the post of White House Correspondent and reported on the prelude to the Gulf War and President George W. Bush's unsuccessful re-election bid. Gonzales covered the U.S. Congress for NPR from 1993-94, focusing on NAFTA and immigration and welfare reform.

In September 1995, Gonzales moved to his current position after spending a year as a John S. Knight Fellow Journalism at Stanford University.

In 2009, Gonzales won the Broadcast Journalism Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He also received the PASS Award in 2004 and 2005 from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency for reports on California's juvenile and adult criminal justice systems.

Prior to NPR, Gonzales was a freelance producer at public television station KQED in San Francisco. From 1979 to 1985, he held positions as a reporter, producer, and later, public affairs director at KPFA, a radio station in Berkeley, CA.

Gonzales graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in psychology and social relations. He is a co-founder of Familias Unidas, a bi-lingual social services program in his hometown of Richmond, California.

A federal judge in Seattle has ordered the Defense Department to stop discriminating against naturalized citizens who volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army under a program to attract certain immigrants with specialized skills.

Updated Feb. 2 at 12:37 a.m. ET

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam apologized on Friday for appearing in a "clearly racist and offensive" costume in his 1984 medical school yearbook. The photo shows a person wearing blackface standing next to another person wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe.

Criticism from the right and left mounted Friday night, including calls for the governor to resign.

Northam, a Democrat, said in a statement: "I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now."

Updated 5:00 a.m. ET Tuesday

California residents who suffered catastrophic losses due to the November 2018 wildfires filed insurance claims totaling $11.4 billion, according to new estimates released by state insurance officials.

The announcement by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara represents a 25 percent hike — more than $2.3 billion — over the estimate in December.

California state fire investigators say that a 2017 wildfire that killed 22 people in Sonoma county was ignited by a private electrical system and not by utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric.

As the Trump administration demands funding for a border wall to stop illegal immigration, a new study finds that for the seventh consecutive year, visa overstays far exceeded unauthorized border crossings.

The report released Wednesday by the Center for Migration Studies of New York finds that from 2016-2017, people who overstayed their visas accounted for 62 percent of the newly undocumented, while 38 percent had crossed a border illegally.

More than half of the workforce of the Internal Revenue Service, or about 46,000 employees, will be recalled to work for the tax filing season despite the partial government shutdown, according to a Treasury Department announcement.

The recalled employees will not be paid during the shutdown, now in its fourth week, although all federal workers have been promised back pay when funding is approved.

Updated at 4:57 p.m. ET Friday

A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who crossed the southern border into the United States illegally earlier this month died of dehydration and shock after being apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in New Mexico.

French authorities say the man suspected of launching a shooting attack on the Strasbourg Christmas market that killed three people and wounded 13 others was slain by police Thursday, ending an extensive two-day manhunt.

The suspect had evaded police since the attack Tuesday night, despite a massive search involving hundreds of police and soldiers.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday they would not seek to retry a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was twice acquitted of fatally shooting a Mexican teenager through a border fence in Nogales, Ariz.

Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, was killed by Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz on October 2012. The agent said he was acting in self-defense when threatened by rock throwers on the Mexican side of the border.

Updated at 9:37 p.m. ET

The Department of Defense will begin assigning thousands of immigrants holding green cards to basic training, reversing a Trump administration policy that delayed their service as they were subjected to enhanced background checks.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is calling for the temporary removal of a state judge who allegedly helped an undocumented immigrant to evade immigration authorities who were in a courthouse waiting to detain him.

Newton District Judge Shelley Joseph is being investigated by a federal grand jury for aiding other court personnel in arranging for Jose Medina-Perez, 38, and from the Dominican Republic, to slip out of a back door of the courthouse while agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement held a detainer for his arrest. The incident occurred in early April.

The white former Dallas police officer who shot and killed her unarmed black neighbor in his apartment, which she says she had entered it by mistake, was indicted on a murder charge by a grand jury Friday.

President Trump's effort to limit the number of people seeking asylum in the United States faced legal challenges in two different federal courts on Monday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that effective Tuesday morning it will close four vehicle lanes at the Southern border with Mexico at Tijuana to prepare for the migrants working their way north to the United States.

The travelers have said they plan to ask for asylum.

Three northbound lanes will be closed at San Ysidro and another lane at Otay Mesa will also be closed to install "port hardening infrastructure equipment," the agency said in a statement.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court in California has blocked the Trump administration from immediately terminating an Obama-era program protecting from deportation young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

Updated at 9:40 p.m. ET

The White House announced late Wednesday that it is temporarily suspending press credentials from CNN's Jim Acosta.

The announcement came in a statement by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. It followed an unusually contentious press conference held by President Trump in the East Room of the White House in which the president called Acosta "a rude, terrible person."

Torrential rains, gusting winds and landslides over the Italian peninsula have killed 11 people over two days.

As the Associated Press reports, many of the dead were vehicle drivers or pedestrians who were struck by falling trees. Other casualties were caused by mudslides and high flood waters.

Strong winds were as strong as 90 mph and in Rome alone knocked down more than 100 trees.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET Wednesday

Chief Justice John Roberts, in his first remarks about the contentious appointment of new Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, sought to convince a law school audience that the court "does not serve one party or one interest; we serve one nation."

Speaking at the University of Minnesota Law School Tuesday, Roberts opened his remarks by saying that he wanted to discuss "events in Washington in recent weeks."

Updated at 8:50 p.m. ET

Paul Allen, who co-founded tech giant Microsoft with Bill Gates, died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Seattle on Monday. He was 65 years old.

Allen's death was announced in a statement released by his investment firm, Vulcan.

A federal court in California has blocked the Trump administration from terminating the Temporary Protected Status program that allows immigrants from four countries to live and work in the United States.

The ruling issued late Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen Wednesday affects more than 300,000 immigrants enrolled in TPS from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan.

TPS was created by Congress in 1990 to allow people from countries suffering civil conflict or natural disasters to remain in the U.S. temporarily.

The line of immigrants applying to become U.S. citizens is becoming longer.

There has been a backlog of citizen applications for years. But the backlog has increased dramatically since President Trump took office. Immigrant advocates say this has become the Trump administration's "second wall."

On a recent workday evening, three immigrants sit in a small airless room in San Francisco for a free citizenship class. Their instructor, Samuel Bianco, dictates some key facts about American civics, slowly, so they can take notes.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

In a federal courtroom in Texas today, the debate over the Trump administration's immigration policies shifted from separated families to another group of young immigrants.

They are the ones who were brought to the United States as children and grew up here. About 700,000 young people were protected from deportation under the Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

A total of 11,800 minors are in HHS custody and of those, under 3,000 are believed to have been separated from parents at the U.S. border.

Updated 10:20 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is asking a federal judge for an extension of the deadline set to reunify all of the migrant parents who were separated from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a court hearing Friday, U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw delayed until at least Monday any decision on the government's request and he ordered the government to provide a complete list of the reunification status of 101 children under the age of 5 who have been separated from their parents.

Nearly 600 women were arrested Thursday in one of several demonstrations across the country protesting the Trump administration's treatment of migrant families at the southern border.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The controversy over President Trump's executive order to end the policy of separating migrant families who cross into the U.S. illegally is shifting to the courts.

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday ending his administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents who were detained as they attempted to enter the U.S. illegally.

There are now more than 10,000 migrant children in U.S. government custody.

These are teenagers who fled violence in Central America. And children who were separated from their parents after they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

How the children should be cared for and what happens to them is part of a growing clash between the Trump administration and advocates.

One of these young migrants made the long trek from El Salvador last year and turned herself in to U.S. authorities at the border.

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