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.

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.

A federal judge in Texas issued a ruling Friday declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, apparently setting the stage for another hearing on the health care law by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor invalidates what's commonly referred to as Obamacare nationwide and casts into doubt the survival of the law on the eve of the deadline for tens of millions of Americans to sign up for health care coverage in 2019.

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.

New government figures released Friday show that the U.S. Border Patrol arrested 51,856 individuals attempting to illegally cross the southern border in November. That's a 78 percent increase over the same period last year.

The escalating arrests represent a high-water mark for apprehensions under the Trump administration and the number of those apprehended are increasingly adults with children.

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.

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.

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 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 https://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/.

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.

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.

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

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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."

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