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.

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."

As the number of coronavirus cases surged in Massachusetts, nurses at a hospital in Milford were desperate. They held up cardboard signs outside the hospital asking for donations of protective gear to wear while treating infected patients.

William Touhey Jr. thought he could help. Touhey is the fire chief and emergency management director in this small town outside of Boston. He did some legwork, and placed an order for 30,000 protective gowns from overseas.

"We were hearing good things that it was coming," Touhey said.

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.

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."

The $2 trillion emergency relief bill moving through Congress is designed to cushion the effects of the steep economic downturn caused by the pandemic — but provides little relief for immigrants.

The legislation, which provides one-time cash payments to low- and middle-income households, excludes immigrants in the country illegally as well as children who are U.S. citizens but have at least one parent who is undocumented.

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.

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."

The Trump administration's attempt to block New Yorkers from enrolling in trusted traveler programs is heading for court.

On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York Civil Liberties Union announced their intention to file lawsuits against the Department of Homeland Security. DHS said this week that it will no longer allow New York state residents to sign up for popular programs intended to speed up international travel because of a state law that blocks immigration authorities from accessing motor vehicle records.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 7

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it will no longer allow New York state residents to enroll in programs intended to expedite international travel because of a state law that blocks immigration authorities from accessing motor vehicle records.

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