Richard Gonzales | KERA News

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.

The Trump administration will cap the number of refugees who will be allowed into the United States to 30,000 in the next fiscal year, a significant decline from the 45,000 ceiling set for this year.

The announcement to slash the number of refugees for the second straight year was made in a brief statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday.

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 http://www.npr.org/.

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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/.

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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.

In a legal setback for the Trump administration's immigration policies, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ruled that the government may not arbitrarily detain people seeking asylum.

The ruling comes in a case challenging the administration's policy of detaining people even after they have passed a credible fear interview and await a hearing on their asylum claim.

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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.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the Bible to explain why the Trump administration has launched a policy of separating families seeking illegal entry into the United States.

"I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order," Sessions said during a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Ind.

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.

President Trump's chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, said he has never seriously considered leaving his job and indicated that he's in lockstep with the president on many issues. Kelly says they have "a close relationship" and spend up to eight hours a day together.

"My view is to speak truth to power. I always give my opinion on everything. He always listens," he said. "Sometimes he takes the opinion, sometimes he doesn't."

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended the administration's "zero tolerance" policy that calls for separating families who cross the border illegally, saying the undocumented immigrants shouldn't get special treatment.

"That's no different than what we do every day in every part of the United States — when an adult of a family commits a crime," she told NPR. "If you as a parent break into a house, you will be incarcerated by police and thereby separated from your family."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security will partner to prosecute anyone illegally crossing the southwest border and separate children from parents.

Yale University announced Wednesday that its board of trustees voted to rescind the honorary degree awarded to comedian Bill Cosby in 2003.

Teachers in Arizona held a strike vote on Thursday that launched Arizona's first-ever statewide walkout and turned down a proposed pay raise — instead demanding increased school funding.

The Arizona Education Association and the grass-roots group the Arizona Educators United announced that teachers will walk off the job April 26.

The Trump administration announced two measures late Friday to further restrict illegal border crossings.

The president issued a presidential memorandum ending a policy commonly called "catch and release," which released illegal immigrants from detention as they awaited an immigration court hearing.

The memo directs various government agencies, the Departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Justice and Defense to report within 45 days on measures they are taking to end "catch and release."

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

To round out what we know about this shooting, we're going to bring in NPR's Richard Gonzales. He's on the line from San Francisco. And Richard, we just heard from an eyewitness. What are authorities saying?

Updated at 3:40 a.m. ET on Wednesday

A woman with an apparent grudge against YouTube for what she claimed was censoring and de-monetizing her videos, opened fire at the video-sharing service's San Bruno, Calif., headquarters, wounding several people before fatally shooting herself, according to police.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted 3-0 to buck California's political leaders and join a federal lawsuit against that state's sanctuary law.

That law, known as SB 54, limits the cooperation of local law enforcement agencies with federal immigration authorities. It was designed to help protect undocumented residents from deportation and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in October 2017.

Updated 2:30 a.m. ET Tuesday

The U.S. Commerce Department announced late Monday that it will restore a question about citizenship to the 2020 census questionnaire.

In an eight-page memo Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the Justice Department has requested that the census ask who is a citizen in order to help determine possible violations of the Voting Rights Act, to help enforce that law.

Investigators with Britain's information commissioner searched the London headquarters of Cambridge Analytica on Friday amid reports that the firm harvested the personal data of millions of Facebook users as part of a campaign to influence the U.S. 2016 presidential elections.

Updated at 10:20 p.m. ET

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared open to limited government regulation of some activities of his company, as he fielded questions about reports that Cambridge Analytica exploited Facebook users personal data to influence the U.S. elections.

"I'm not sure we shouldn't be regulated," he said on CNN during a rare interview. "I actually think the question is more, what is the right regulation, rather than yes or no, should it be regulated?"

The Weinstein Company Holdings LLC announced that it has filed for voluntary bankruptcy and entered into an agreement to sell its assets to a Dallas-based equity firm.

It also announced that it is ending all nondisclosure agreements that prevented victims of alleged sexual misconduct at the hands of disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein from talking about their experiences.

The Weinstein Co. will enter into a "stalking horse" agreement with an affiliate of Lantern Capital Partners in conjunction with entering into bankruptcy proceedings.

President Trump visits California Tuesday where he will appear at the U.S.-Mexico border to promote the prototypes of the border wall he has promised to build in his fight against illegal immigration.

There will be protests by opponents who oppose construction of the wall, as well as local supporters who say a border wall is exactly what's needed to keep the country safe.

The prototypes are being displayed near where there is already about 14 miles of border fencing topped with razor wire.

Monday was supposed to be the day that DACA ended.

But court rulings have blocked President Trump from phasing out the program, at least for now, and negotiations have stalled out in Congress. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protects undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children from deportation.

Updated at 5:27 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that immigrants, even those with permanent legal status and asylum seekers, do not have the right to periodic bond hearings.

A Kentucky teenager faces two counts of murder and 14 counts of first-degree assault in charges stemming from a January 23 shooting at Marshall County High School, in Benton, Ky.

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