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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Dead Stop
2:40 am
Tue August 14, 2012

A Wild Resting Place For Gunslingers And Cowboys

The Boot Hill cemetery in Tombstone, Ariz., is filled with the graves of men who met their end in the Wild West. While there are many such cemeteries in the Western U.S., Tombstone's is considered the most famous.
Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 8:03 am

If you're from a state once considered the "Old West," odds are you've heard of a Boot Hill graveyard. Turns out there are a number of Boot Hill cemeteries in the West, so named because many of their inhabitants died violently — with their boots on.

But of all the Boot Hill cemeteries, none is as famous as Boot Hill in Tombstone, Ariz.

It's a tough-looking place. No lawn, just gravel, mesquite trees and cactus. The graves are covered with stones to keep varmints from digging up the bones.

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Around the Nation
4:13 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Ariz. Activists Rally For Votes Against Sheriff Arpaio

Rosa Maria Soto protests Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio outside the federal courthouse on July 19 in Phoenix. It was the first day of a trial that accuses Arpaio's office of racially profiling Latinos.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 8:17 am

Testimony is scheduled to end Thursday in the racial-profiling suit against Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The sheriff faces a class-action civil suit on behalf of Latino citizens and legal residents in Maricopa County.

The plaintiffs say deputies stopped and detained them because of the color of their skin. As lawyers fight Arpaio in the courtroom, activists outside are using the trial as a rallying point against the sheriff in his upcoming election.

'Adios Arpaio'

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Law
5:05 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Ariz. Sheriff Arpaio Grilled On Racial Profiling

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 7:12 am

Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio made a court appearance Tuesday and faced questioning. Arpaio is accused of racial profiling in a civil class-action lawsuit.

Law
2:04 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Controversial Ariz. Sheriff's Tactics Go On Trial

A trial begins Thursday in Phoenix accusing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, seen in this May 3, 2010, file photo, of violating the civil rights of Latino citizens and legal U.S. residents.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 9:04 am

The self-proclaimed "Toughest Sheriff in America" is facing one of his toughest tests. A trial begins Thursday morning in Phoenix accusing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of violating the civil rights of Latino citizens and legal U.S. residents. The class-action civil suit says the sheriff went over the line in his efforts to crack down on illegal immigration.

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Animals
3:17 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Wild Mustangs Give Patrol Horsepower On The Border

Border Patrol Agent Bobbi Schad pets a mustang at the agency's training facility in Willcox, Ariz., last August.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 9:26 pm

It's all new for Achilles: his name, his horseshoes, the surroundings at his home near Nogales, Ariz.

"To break 'em from what they're focusing on, you want to turn 'em from one side to the next," Border Patrol agent Luis Navarro says as he carefully leads Achilles into a round training arena.

Navarro holds the mustang by a short lead, and teaches it commands to trot and to slow down.

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Architecture
5:05 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Still Unimplemented, Ariz. Law Has Chilling Effect

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 5:49 pm

It will be weeks — maybe longer — before the one part of Arizona's immigration law the Supreme Court left standing goes into effect. A lower court has to remove its injunction before local police are required to ask about immigration status. But as NPR's Ted Robbins reports, there's already been a backlash.

Law
3:58 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Ariz. Gov. Brewer Calls Supreme Court Ruling A Win

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 7:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's return, now, to the governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer. As we heard a moment ago, she's calling this a win, even though the Court struck down most of the Arizona law and said it would wait and see how the show me your papers provision is applied.

GOVERNOR JAN BREWER: Arizona's and every other state's inherent authority to protect and defend its people has been upheld.

INSKEEP: Governor Brewer is one of many Arizona voices responding to the ruling. Here's NPR's Ted Robbins.

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Law
4:13 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

High Court Leaves Core Of Immigration Law Intact

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 4:27 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

To the Supreme Court now and a much-anticipated decision on Arizona's controversial immigration law. The justices struck down most of SB1070, as the law is known. But the court did unanimously allow one key provision to take effect, and that's giving both sides reason to claim victory. We'll delve more deeply into the ruling with Nina Totenberg elsewhere in the program, but now to reaction from Arizona and NPR's Ted Robbins.

And Ted, let's start first with the three provisions of this law that were blocked. What were they?

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Politics
5:03 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Ariz. Voters Pick Giffords' Aide To Replace Her

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 6:00 am

Voters in Southern Arizona decided Tuesday who will replace former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords for the remainder of her term: her former district director, Ron Barber. Giffords resigned from Congress in January to focus on recovery from injuries she suffered in a shooting in early 2011. Barber was also injured. His Republican opponent, Tucson businessman Jesse Kelly, narrowly lost to Giffords two years ago.

Around the Nation
4:09 am
Fri May 25, 2012

In Ariz. Contest, A Debate Over Government's Reach

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 9:22 am

Voters in southern Arizona's 8th Congressional District are deciding who will fill the seat formerly held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The Democrat resigned in January, a year after she was badly injured by a gunman at a district event in Tucson.

Giffords' resignation set in motion a special election to serve out the rest of her two-year term. Giffords' former district director, Ron Barber, won the Democratic nomination uncontested. Jesse Kelly easily beat three opponents in the Republican primary.

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