Joel Rose | WGLT

Joel Rose

Joel Rose is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. He covers immigration and breaking news.

Rose was among the first to report on the Trump administration's efforts to roll back asylum protections for victims of domestic violence and gangs. He's also covered the separation of migrant families, the legal battle over the travel ban, and the fight over the future of DACA.

He has interviewed grieving parents after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, asylum-seekers fleeing from violence and poverty in Central America, and a long list of musicians including Solomon Burke, Tom Waits and Arcade Fire.

Rose has contributed to breaking news coverage of the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina, Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, and major protests after the deaths of Trayvon Martin in Florida and Eric Garner in New York.

He's also collaborated with NPR's Planet Money podcast, and was part of NPR's Peabody Award-winning coverage of the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

Updated on Sept. 18 at 2:15 p.m. ET

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, there were lots of stories about scrappy manufacturers promising to revamp their factories to start making personal protective equipment in the U.S.

Back in the spring, fuel-cell maker Adaptive Energy retooled part of its factory in Ann Arbor, Mich., to make plastic face shields. Now, 100,000 finished shields are piling up in cardboard boxes on the factory floor — unsold.

As the nation grapples with questions of racial justice, Americans are increasingly polarized, according to a new poll, with Republicans far less likely to support protests sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake than previous demonstrations.

More Americans support than oppose recent protests after the shooting in Kenosha, Wis., according to the poll by the research firm Ipsos, provided exclusively to NPR.

It was late at night when two teenage cousins from Honduras arrived in a hotel parking lot somewhere in the U.S., escorted by armed men in civilian clothes.

The young men crossed the border illegally into Texas last month and turned themselves in to the Border Patrol. After spending the night in detention, they say they were loaded into a van by the men who were not in uniforms and driven three hours to the hotel.

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At the height of summer, temperatures climb to nearly 100 degrees most days in Pharr, a small city in South Texas. Nonetheless, nurse practitioner Oralia Martinez and her staff have set up a temporary exam room outside her small clinic.

This is their way of preserving masks and other personal protective equipment as they treat COVID-19 patients in the Rio Grande Valley, where infections are spiking. While Martinez and her colleagues sweat in full gear outside, the staffers and other patients inside the clinic aren't exposed and don't need as much PPE.

When a Salvadoran woman grabbed her 4-year-old daughter and fled their home country in February, the coronavirus wasn't yet a global pandemic.

By the time they reached the U.S.-Mexico border a month later, that had changed. She crossed the Rio Grande, planning to ask for asylum. But Border Patrol agents took her and her daughter right back to Mexico, despite her pleas.

Most Americans support Trump administration efforts to stop immigrants from coming to the United States as long as it's done in the name of slowing the spread of the coronavirus, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll.

But Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric during the pandemic has done little to budge public opinion on other immigration policies, the poll found. Most of Trump's policies, including his border wall, remain unpopular except among Republicans.

A federal court has ordered the Trump administration to begin accepting new applications to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children from deportation.

Two crises collided this spring in Michigan. The state was already under a coronavirus lockdown when a catastrophic storm hit and a pair of dams failed, flooding the city of Midland.

The local hospital, MidMichigan Medical Center — Midland, hired a disaster recovery company to clean up the mess, including a water-logged basement and morgue. More than 100 workers — many of them recent immigrants — were brought from as far away as Texas and Florida. Bellaliz Gonzalez was one of them.

Dr. Basim Ali graduated at the top of his medical school class in Pakistan and landed a residency at a renowned teaching hospital in Texas, where he'll be on the front lines of one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the U.S.

"There's obviously some degree of anxiety about what that's going to be like," Ali said by phone from Karachi before coming here. "But there's also this understanding that this is what we signed up for."

When nurses and doctors across the country were struggling to treat coronavirus patients without enough protective gear, and the federal government was scrambling to find those supplies, Quedon Baul saw an opportunity.

His three-person company in McKinney, Texas, distributes medical supplies but didn't have much experience with face shields. Still, he landed two government contracts worth up to $20 million to deliver the personal protective equipment. He couldn't meet the first deadline, so he found subcontractors to do the job.

Coronavirus testing in the U.S. has run into a number of snags, from a lack of nasal swabs to not enough chemicals needed to run the tests.

Now there's a new bottleneck emerging: A shortage of the machines that process the tests and give results.

Civilian labs and the Pentagon say they've had trouble getting the sophisticated, automated machines that can run hundreds of diagnostic tests at once. Three machine manufacturers — Hologic Inc., Roche and Abbott Laboratories — have confirmed to NPR that demand is outstripping supply.

As hospitals were overrun by coronavirus patients in other parts of the world, the Army Corps of Engineers mobilized in the U.S., hiring private contractors to build emergency field hospitals around the country.

The endeavor cost more than $660 million, according to an NPR analysis of federal spending records.

But nearly four months into the pandemic, most of these facilities haven't treated a single patient.

When Carlos Mejia-Bonilla was detained by immigration authorities a few years ago, he told the health care staff at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in New Jersey that he was taking medicine for a range of conditions, including diabetes, anemia, high blood pressure and cirrhosis of the liver.

Ten weeks later, he died of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Frustration with stay-at-home orders is mounting in many parts of the country. In Colorado, protesters gathered Sunday afternoon on a hillside in front of the state capitol in Denver.

"I'm watching businesses close. I'm watching friends lose their incomes," protester Deesa Hurt told Colorado Public Radio. "We just want to reopen Colorado. That's all we want."

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In recent days, the Trump administration has organized dozens of flights to deliver surgical masks and other critical medical supplies around the country, working with a half dozen major medical distributors to get those supplies "to the right place at the right time."

But if your state isn't considered the right place, that system can be frustrating.

"When you look at those five or six national distributors, Montana is sure as heck not getting much luck out of them," Gov. Steve Bullock said in an interview.

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New York has surpassed a grim milestone. The state is now reporting more than a thousand deaths from the coronavirus. And with this pandemic engulfing the region, the mayor of New York City is warning that the city is running low on critical medical supplies.

From the hospital where he works in South Carolina, Dr. Kiran Nagarajan has been watching the coronavirus crisis explode in other parts of the country. But, like many other immigrant doctors, he can't do anything about it.

"There's a dire need of physicians especially in places like New York, New Jersey," Nagarajan said. "I wish I can go and help there."

Facing a rapid increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York state is ready for the Army Corps of Engineers to start building temporary hospitals in the state immediately.

Cuomo said he had toured and formally approved four sites in the state, including the Javits Center in Manhattan and others in Westchester County and Long Island.

"Time matters, minutes count," Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany on Sunday. "From my perspective, construction can start tomorrow."

U.S. authorities face growing calls to shutter all of the nation's immigration courts, and to release detained immigrants who do not pose a threat to public safety after an ICE detention center worker tested positive for the coronavirus.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported for the first time this week that one of its workers has the virus that causes COVID-19. ICE also says there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus among its more than 37,000 detainees nationwide.

Updated at 9:57 p.m. ET

President Trump plans to seal off the U.S-Mexico border to migrants under a law intended to protect the country from communicable disease — a move that comes as the U.S. immigration system grinds to a halt in response to the growing coronavirus pandemic.

At a press conference Wednesday, Trump said the southern border would not close completely. But the move would allow the administration to quickly deport asylum-seekers and other migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally without due process.

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The titles are a mouthful.

There's the deputy director exercising the authority of director for the National Park Service, and the senior official performing the duties of the director at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This is how President Trump is filling dozens of high-level jobs in the federal government without Senate confirmation. The administration leaves key jobs vacant at a given agency, while delegating the authority of those positions down to subordinates who do not need to be confirmed or even nominated for the jobs.

Top Senate Democrats warn that the Trump administration is deliberately undermining the independence of immigration courts.

In a bluntly worded letter to the Justice Department, which oversees the immigration courts, the senators accuse the administration of waging an "ongoing campaign to erode the independence of immigration courts," including changing court rules to allow more political influence over decisions and promoting partisan judges to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection made a surprising admission this week about the agency's Seattle field office.

Last month, officers at a border crossing there pulled aside hundreds of Iranian-Americans — including U.S citizens and green card holders — and held them for hours.

"In that specific office," acting CBP commissioner Mark Morgan said at a briefing with reporters in Washington, "leadership just got a little overzealous."

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