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.

This year's tax day marks a historic event for one group of Americans: April 18 will be the first time that every married same-sex couple in the country can file both their federal and state taxes together.

It's something Colleen and Linda Squires have been waiting for for a long time.

Every day hundreds of immigrants — asylum seekers, legal residents and some here illegally — are being incarcerated at taxpayer expense after they've been ordered released because they are too poor to pay the cash bond set by the federal government, according to a class-action lawsuit.

Not long ago, the city of Richmond, Calif., was considered one of the most dangerous cities in America. There was a skyrocketing homicide rate fueled by gangs of young men settling personal or territorial disputes.

A U.S. Navy tugboat that disappeared after leaving San Francisco 95 years ago has been discovered by federal maritime investigators. The finding of the USS Conestoga ends the mystery of the last Navy ship lost without a trace in peacetime, according to a statement released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The House today endorsed a lawsuit that challenges President Obama's executive actions on immigration. By a largely party-line 234-186 vote, the lawmakers authorized Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to file a friend-of-the-court brief in a lawsuit brought by Texas and 25 other states. That suit argues the president overstepped his authority when he decided to block deportation of some four million immigrants.

Peter Mondavi, a pioneer of the Napa Valley wine industry, died over the weekend in California. He was 101.

Mondavi and his more famous brother, Robert, joined their parents' business, the Charles Krug Winery, in 1943. Back then, the Napa Valley was better known for producing prunes, and its grapes were grown for cheap jug wine. The Mondavi brothers, sons of Italian immigrants, would become key players in making the valley one of the world's premium wine-producing regions.

A federal magistrate judge ruled Wednesday that the State Department wrongfully seized the passport of a naturalized U.S. citizen in Sanaa, Yemen, leaving him stranded in that war-torn country for over a year with no way of returning to his home in California.

Maybe it's understandable that immigration reform remains stalled in Congress during an election year. And that the fate of President Obama's executive actions on immigration before the U.S. Supreme Court remains unclear, especially in the aftermath of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Updated at 4:24 p.m. on Feb. 17: Pedro Figueroa was released on bail from an ICE detention center on Feb. 3. Also, the San Francisco Police Department initially denied that it had cooperated with federal immigration agents. But an internal ICE document shows that the police and sheriff were in direct communication with ICE about Figueroa.

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As the issue of immigration — legal or otherwise — gains traction in the 2016 presidential race, there's more evidence that illegal immigration is not only declining, but it's been on a decade-long downward trend.

"The undocumented population has essentially reached zero growth, " said Robert Warren, the author of a new report published by the New York-based Center for Migration Studies. "The population has stopped growing because slightly more people are leaving than are coming in from Mexico."

As the 2016 election year opens, new data shows that more Latinos will be eligible to vote than ever before. However, Hispanic political power may be sapped by the relatively young age of these potential voters and their geographic distribution.

In Fresno, California — the heart of that state's agricultural community — police are looking for whoever attacked two elderly Sikh-American men. The incidents happened a week apart over the holidays. One man was fatally stabbed, another badly beaten.

The attacks come amid reports of increased bullying and violence directed at Sikh-Americans around the country, apparently because they are mistaken for Muslims.

There will be two new members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. and catcher Mike Piazza are being awarded the sport's highest individual honor.

"Junior," who hit 630 home runs, had one of the game's sweetest hitting strokes, and his energy and enthusiasm for the game earned him the nickname "the Kid." He is the son of slugger Ken Griffey Sr.

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As President Obama tries to save his plan to shield some five million people from deportation, immigration activists have been marching and planning more demonstrations to support him.

Protesters rallied Friday in more than 20 cities, including Washington, DC, New York and Chicago. Actions are scheduled in nine other locations over the weekend.

They say they are mobilizing their constituents to fight for relaxed immigration enforcement because two courts have delayed the president's orders.

A new study of immigration to the United States shows that more Mexicans have returned home than have arrived here since 2009.

The report from the Washington, DC-based Pew Research Center also finds that the overall flow of Mexicans between the two countries is the smallest since the 1990s.

With President Obama's executive actions to shield up to five million immigrants from deportation now stalled in the courts, the conventional wisdom is that his proposal is a loser for the administration and the Democrats. Twenty-six states filed suit to stop him and it's safe to say an energized Republican base hasn't been enthusiastic about the president's idea.

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Without much fanfare, the Obama administration recently took a significant step towards helping lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, people fleeing persecution. The State Department is expanding its interpretation of the term "spouse" to include partners of same sex refugees and asylum seekers.

At the same time that immigration is a hot-button issue on the presidential campaign trail, in the courts, immigration advocates are chipping away at the government's authority to detain non-citizens indefinitely.

Two rulings issued this week from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California say that detainees have the right to a bond hearing while they are fighting their deportation cases.

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A new report on conditions in immigrant detention centers around the country finds a systematic and ongoing failure by the Obama administration to adequately inspect facilities run by public and private contractors. The report alleges a pattern of basic human rights violations leading to deaths, suicides, violence and sexual assaults in facilities that were given a clean bill of health by federal inspectors.

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When is a conviction not a conviction?

That's one of the questions raised by California Gov. Jerry Brown as he vetoed a bill Thursday that would have protected immigrants—legal or not—with low level drug offenses from deportation.

In California, anyone who gets popped for a minor drug offense, like smoking a joint, can plead guilty and volunteer for drug treatment—usually about a year. Upon successful completion of drug counseling, that charge and conviction is wiped off one's record like it never happened.

It probably won't surprise you that there's a growing polarization among Americans over how to deal with several immigration policy proposals.

Whether it's Donald Trump's idea for a massive border fence or the proposal to change the Constitution so that babies of unauthorized residents aren't automatically made citizens, Republicans and Democrats are hardening their views, according to a new national survey issued by the Washington, D.C.-based Pew Research Center.

While Pope Francis is in Washington this week, he is scheduled to canonize Junipero Serra — an 18th century Spanish missionary and the founder of California's storied network of missions.

The canonization of Serra prompts a robust debate: Was the Franciscan friar, as the pontiff proclaims, a saint? Or was he, as many Native Americans argue, a villainous tool of Spanish conquest and genocide?

What's not being talked about is how Serra's missions became the blueprint for modern California.

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