Ted Robbins

As an NPR correspondent based in Tucson, Arizona, Ted Robbins covers the Southwest including Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.

Specifically, Robbins reports on a range of issues from immigration and border security to water issues and wildfires. He covers the economy in the West with an emphasis on the housing market and Las Vegas development. He reported on the January 2011, Tucson shooting that killed six and injured many included Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

From Tombstone to Santa Fe, Phoenix to Las Vegas and Moab to Indian Country, there's no shortage of people, politics and places worth covering in the growing American Southwest. Robbins' reporting is driven by his curiosity to find, understand and communicate all sides of each story through accurate, clear and engaging coverage. In addition to his domestic work, Robbins has reported internationally in Mexico, El Salvador, Nepal and Sudan.

Robbins' reporting has been honored with numerous accolades, including two Emmy Awards: one for his story on sex education in schools, and another for his series on women in the workforce. He received a CINE Golden Eagle for a 1995 documentary on Mexican agriculture called "Tomatoes for the North."

In 2006, Robbins wrote an article for the Neiman Reports at Harvard about journalism and immigration. He was chosen for a 2009 French-American Foundation Fellowship focused on comparing European and U.S. immigration issues.

Raised in Los Angeles, Robbins became an avid NPR listener while spending hours driving (or stopped in traffic) on congested freeways. He is delighted to now be covering stories for his favorite news source.

Prior to coming to NPR in 2004, Robbins spent five years as a regular contributor to The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 15 years at the PBS affiliate in Tucson, and worked as a field producer for CBS News. He worked for NBC affiliates in Tucson and Salt Lake City, where he also did some radio reporting and print reporting for USA Today.

Robbins earned his Bachelor of Arts in psychology and his master's degree in journalism, both from the University of California at Berkeley. He taught journalism at the University of Arizona for a decade.

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Around the Nation
6:15 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Some Deportees Return To Mexico But Their Stuff Stays In The U.S.

A woman walks toward the international crossing gate in Nogales, Ariz., in March 2013.
Jahi Chikwendiu Washington Post via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:38 am

Derek Lucas Reyes, 20, went from being undocumented in the U.S. to undocumented in his native Mexico.

He sits at a table after breakfast in a shelter filled with people recently deported from the U.S. to Nogales, Sonora. At his feet is a paper shopping bag the Department of Homeland Security gave him for his belongings. Inside the bag: his deportation paperwork, a toothbrush, toothpaste and some other necessities he got from Mexican aid workers.

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All Tech Considered
7:55 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Terrible Video Game, Great Fundraiser: Meet Desert Bus For Hope

This is Desert Bus. This is it --€” plus the occasional bus stop.
Desert Bus

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 11:21 am

What would you give to watch someone else play what's arguably the world's worst video game — for nearly a week?

It turns out, people have given millions, as part of a fundraiser called Desert Bus for Hope.

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NPR Story
4:57 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

What's In A Name? Plenty Of Ways To Make A Mistake

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 8:00 pm

When Arizona State University graduates hear their names announced, they have Peter Lafford to thank. It's his job to ensure students' names are pronounced correctly — and it's not always an easy task.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Law
4:00 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Home Of Sanctuary Movement Revives Strategy To Stop Deportation

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 7:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A church in Tucson is reviving an old approach to fight the Obama administration's deportation policy. Back in the 1980s, Southside Presbyterian Church founded what became the Sanctuary Movement. It protected Central American refugees from removal. Last night, the congregation welcomed a 36-year-old Mexican man who is facing deportation. NPR's Ted Robbins has the story.

(APPLAUSE)

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Around the Nation
5:05 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Ranchers And The Federal Government: The Long History Of Conflict

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 3:01 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Law
4:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

The Curious Practice Of Bringing Immigrants Back — To Deport Them

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 11:06 pm

U.S. officers at the ports of entry are arresting undocumented immigrants as they try to leave the U.S. They're then prosecuted and sent to prison, only to be removed from the U.S. anyway. Why bother? That's a question people on all sides of the immigration debate are asking.

Around the Nation
5:18 am
Wed April 16, 2014

'World's Largest Rosebush' Graces Arizona Desert Town

The world's largest rosebush, according to Guinness World Records, is in Tombstone, Ariz., and covers 9,000 square feet.
Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:33 pm

Just a few blocks from the OK Corral in Tombstone, Ariz., a former hotel and boarding house hides a treasure.

A sign in front says "World's Largest Rosebush," but most people have no sense of its size until they walk through the building and into the backyard.

The bush, a Lady Banksia Rose, was planted in 1885, back when Tombstone was a boomtown for silver mining. The tree officially covers 9,000 square feet, and its gnarled trunk is about 12 feet around. The whole thing is so big that its branches have to be supported on a massive trellis, which spreads out horizontally.

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News
4:27 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Nevada Ranch Dispute Ends As Feds Back Down — For Now

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 6:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

A standoff between federal agents and a Nevada rancher is over for now. Over the weekend, the Bureau of Land Management released about 400 head of cattle it had rounded up, fearing a violent confrontation. Militia members, including many with guns, had rallied in support of the rancher, Cliven Bundy, and his family. NPR's Ted Robbins has the story.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: No BLM. No BLM. No BLM.

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Law
5:21 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

For Albuquerque PD, A Searing Rebuke From Justice Department

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 8:12 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Environment
4:30 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Waters Will Flood Part Of Colorado River, For Just A Few Weeks

Thanks to an agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, water is flowing to 35 million people in both countries along the Colorado River Delta. At least for now.
Ted Robbins/NPR

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 8:03 pm

Millions of gallons of water used to flow every day from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. Now, the Colorado River ends at Morelos Dam on the U.S.-Mexico border. Below it, one of North America's largest wetlands is dry.

Karl Flessa, a geoscientist at the University of Arizona, began researching the damage two decades ago. Then he started asking how much water it would take to bring back some of the habitats.

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Around the Nation
5:02 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

In Arizona, Citizens Keep Close Eye On Immigration Checkpoint

Members of the Arivaca, Ariz., community monitor an immigration checkpoint about 25 miles north of the Mexican border. Some residents say border agents go beyond their legal authority.
Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 6:59 pm

Border Patrol checkpoints aren't always near the border. Some aren't even on roads that go to the border. Take Arivaca Road; it's an East-West route 25 miles north of the Mexican border in Southern Arizona.

A Border Patrol checkpoint has been operating there around the clock for seven years. Some residents of the town of Arivaca say agents at the checkpoint go well beyond their legal authority; searching vehicles and questioning citizens without cause. So they've begun their own monitoring — to inspect the process.

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Business
5:04 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Arizona Struggles To Gain Cross-Border Trade With Mexico

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 9:00 am

In 2010, Arizona passed laws aimed at undocumented immigrants. As a result, business relations with Mexico — Arizona's biggest trading partner — began to suffer.

Sports
4:09 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

At The Cubs' Arizona Retreat, A Fond Reminder Of Wrigley

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 6:33 pm

The Cubs have a new home in spring training that evokes their stadium back in Chicago. Fans and former players love Cubs Park in Mesa, Ariz. — their own "mini-Wrigley."

News
4:09 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Border Patrol Revises Its Rulebook For Use Of Deadly Force

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 7:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The chief of the U.S. Border Patrol wants agents to limit their use of deadly force. The Border Patrol says agents have killed 10 people since 2010, while the ACLU says that number is 27. NPR's Ted Robbins reports on a directive issued today that outlines new guidance for the use of force against rock throwers and vehicles.

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Law
4:05 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Amid Controversy, 'Right To Refuse' Bill Hits Governor's Desk

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 8:01 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer is being pressured to veto a bill that would allow business owners in the state to deny service to gays and lesbians. To deny service, the business owner has to have sincerely held religious beliefs. That's the legislation's wording. It's become so controversial that even some lawmakers who voted for it are now regretting it.

NPR's Ted Robbins has more.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Equal rights.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: When do we want it?

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Now.

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Around the Nation
3:31 am
Tue February 11, 2014

With An Air Bag, Help During An Avalanche Is A Cord-Yank Away

Derick Noffsinger models a deployed avalanche air bag pack made by Black Diamond at an industry market in Salt Lake City last month.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:03 am

Let's say you're skiing in the backcountry, looking for some powder — but instead, you trigger an avalanche.

If you have an avalanche air bag pack strapped to your back, you just yank the cord. That deploys the air bag, which keeps you close to the surface and easier to dig out, says Andy Wenberg with Backcountry Access, one of several companies making the devices. When deployed, his company's version of the air bag comes out like wings.

"The whole idea when you deploy that thing in an avalanche is you're avoiding burial death," he says.

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Around the Nation
4:47 am
Thu January 30, 2014

In Las Vegas, Lawns Are The Biggest Water Waster

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:24 am

Las Vegas depends on Lake Mead for its water and the reservoir is dropping. The city's water officials long ago instituted water conservation measures. Critics say they are not nearly enough.

The Edge
3:29 am
Thu January 30, 2014

High Schoolers Hit The Slopes, And The Books, At Team Academy

Elite athletes at Team Academy keep up their education in classrooms like this one; their training facilities are downstairs in the same building.
Sarah Brunson USSA

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 10:41 am

Freestyle aerial skier Mac Bohonnon recently finished second at the Val St. Come World Cup in Quebec, and that helped him qualify for the Olympics in Sochi. But when he's not doing triple-twisting double backflips, he's taking Advanced Placement classes at Team Academy in Park City, Utah.

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Law
11:59 am
Sun January 19, 2014

South Texas: The New Hot Spot For Illegal Crossing

The Rio Grande near McAllen, Texas, is more dangerous than it looks because of swift currents and Border Patrol surveillance.
Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 1:31 pm

As the U.S. government has militarized the California and Arizona segment of the Southwest border over the last two decades, illegal crossers have moved to another area. South Texas has become the new border hot spot.

The Rio Grande Valley is also the closest route to Central America. Two-thirds of those caught crossing are from that troubled region.

The Border Patrol and local authorities are straining to keep up.

Fleeing Poverty And Murder

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Sports
5:28 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Will Team USA's High-Tech Speedskating Suit Pay Off In Gold?

"Mach 39" is the result of a partnership between Under Armour and Lockheed Martin to create the most aerodynamic speedskating suit for the U.S. Olympic team.
Under Armour

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:19 pm

A years-in-the-making, top-secret engineering and design project for a superaerodynamic suit to be worn by U.S. speedskaters at next month's Winter Olympics was finally unveiled Thursday.

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin and sporting goods company Under Armour released photos of the suit they're calling "Mach 39." It has been kept so tightly under wraps that the sport's governing body wouldn't even allow it to be worn at the Olympic trials in Salt Lake City.

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