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.

Updated at 4:37 a.m. ET

Forty-nine people are dead and at least 20 are seriously injured in what New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says "can now only be described as a terrorist attack."

Officials say a vehicle went around a warning gate along tracks of the Long Island Railroad Tuesday, and collided with a commuter train bound for Manhattan. Then a train traveling in the opposite direction struck the vehicle, according to local authorities. All three people in the vehicle were killed.

The foreign minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, resigned Monday without explanation in a brief message on Instagram.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports that Zarif was a central player in the nuclear negotiations with the Obama administration.

"In a post on Instagram, Mohammad Javad Zarif apologizes for what he calls his shortcomings and his 'inability to continue to serve' as foreign minister. An official at Iran's mission to the U.N. confirms that Zarif has resigned," said Kelemen.

Immigration officials have stopped, for now, the force-feeding via nasal tubes of nine immigrants from India who were conducting a hunger strike inside an immigration detention center in El Paso, Texas.

Hollywood's biggest night, the Oscars ceremonies, will not feature an official host guiding the event this year, according to the president of ABC Entertainment which will broadcast the Academy Awards on Feb. 24.

Karey Burke told television reporters that the telecast would have "a pretty exciting opening" even without a host.

This is not the first time that the awards show went on without a host.

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 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.

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.

Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET Friday

The Marine Corps has identified the fighter pilot who died in a crash that occurred while practicing in-flight refueling off the coast of Japan. He was Capt. Jahmar Resilard, 28, of Miramar, Fla.

Another service member was rescued and five are still missing.

The Marine Corps said Resilard served with Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, stationed on Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi, Japan, according to the Associated Press.

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.

Amid the current headlines about migrant caravans and an "invasion" of unauthorized immigrants, the number of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally actually fell to its lowest level in more than a decade, a new study finds.

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.

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."

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.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://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.

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.

The president of the University of Southern California, C.L. Max Nikias, is stepping down, according to an announcement by the university's board of trustees. The resignation comes as USC is embroiled in a series of scandals that have tarnished the public image of the prestigious private institution in Los Angeles.

Immigrant children in the custody of U.S. border authorities allegedly suffered pervasive abuse ranging from insults and threats to physical assaults, according to documents reviewed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered the nation's immigration judges to end their practice of temporarily removing cases from their dockets without issuing decisions.

Immigrant advocates say the move is part of a broader strategy to influence the immigration courts, which fall under the purview of the Department of Justice, in order to hasten the removal of some immigrants.

The Trump administration announced Monday that it has dramatically increased the number of worksite investigations and audits to make sure that American businesses do not employ people who are in the U.S. illegally.

Pages