Colorlines

Seth Freed Wessler

Seth Freed Wessler
Seth Freed Wessler Investigative Reporter
New York, NY

Seth Freed Wessler is a reporter in New York who currently writes for Colorlines.com. Seth has reported from across the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean on immigration, the safety net, criminal justice, national security and the human fallout of the financial collapse. Seth led a groundbreaking investigation that revealed the thousands of U.S. citizen children stuck in foster care whose parents have been detained or deported by federal immigration authorities. The investigation, for which Seth won a Hillman Prize and other honors, Along with Seth's series of follow-up stories, led to a direct response from the federal government, as well as the passage of state-level legislation. Seth worked until 2012 as a researcher for the Applied Research Center, where he authored research reports on racial inequality and the financial collapse, segregation in the restaurant industry and the corrosive effects of immigration policies on child welfare systems. Seth often discusses his reporting in national broadcast, and his stories and investigations for Colorlines have been cited by outlets including the Associated Press, the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and NPR. He has produced stories for GOOD Magazine, the Texas Observer, NPR’s LatinoUSA, The Huffington Post, The Root and other outlets. In addition to the Hillman Prize, Seth was a finalist for a Casey Medal and has won several Ippies Awards. He was the recipient of a reporting fellowship from USC Annenberg's Institute for Justice and Journalism. Check out Seth's media appearances here.

Seth tweets at @sethfw.

Report: NYPD Spy Program Traumatized Muslim Communities

Report: NYPD Spy Program Traumatized Muslim Communities

by Seth Freed Wessler on March 12 2013, 8:48AM

A new report documents the human impact of the NYPD’s sprawling Muslim surveillance program. Though there’s no evidence that the spying stopped acts of terrorism, the report found that it has stoked fear and mistrust in schools, neighborhoods—and mosques.

Topics: Criminal Justice, Spying, Wealth Gap

McDonald's Guest Workers Strike and Demand Meeting With Company CEO

McDonald’s Guest Workers Strike and Demand Meeting With Company CEO

by Seth Freed Wessler on March 8 2013, 2:24PM

They’re not lovin’ it.

Topics: /NOW

Proposed Welfare Drug Testing Bill Tells Poor to Sign Away Rights

Proposed Welfare Drug Testing Bill Tells Poor to Sign Away Rights

by Seth Freed Wessler on March 5 2013, 1:09PM

A week after a federal appeals court ruled against a Florida law that required welfare recipients to pass a drug test, a Republican congressman reintroduced similar legislation at the federal level. The bill, introduced by Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn), would…

Topics: /NOW

What Ever Happened to SB 1070?

What Ever Happened to SB 1070?

by Seth Freed Wessler on March 5 2013, 9:00AM

Suddenly, federal immigration reform is all the rage. Does this mean an end to the recent trend of racially charged, anti-immigrant laws like Arizona’s SB 1070?

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Reform

Hundreds Released From Immigration Detention to Save Government Money

Hundreds Released From Immigration Detention to Save Government Money

by Seth Freed Wessler on February 27 2013, 11:31AM

But is at an act of reform or a political stunt by the Obama administration?

Topics: /NOW

Florida's Welfare Drug Testing Law Struck Down by Federal Appeals Court

Florida’s Welfare Drug Testing Law Struck Down by Federal Appeals Court

by Seth Freed Wessler on February 26 2013, 1:04PM

A federal appeals court today struck a blow to a 2011 Florida law requiring drug tests for all applicants to the state’s welfare program.

Topics: /NOW

WTF, ICE? A Week's Worth of Troubling Immigration Revelations

WTF, ICE? A Week’s Worth of Troubling Immigration Revelations

by Seth Freed Wessler on February 22 2013, 9:18AM

Immigration reform is moving ahead, sort of. But that hasn’t stopped federal immigration enforcers and those who profit off of it from steamrolling everything around.

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Reform

Deported Father's Case Ends As Congress Debates Immigration Changes

Deported Father’s Case Ends As Congress Debates Immigration Changes

by Seth Freed Wessler on February 19 2013, 2:15PM

Felipe Montes, who lost his three U.S.-citizens sons when he was deported to Mexico in December 2010 will regain custody of his children.

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Reform, /NOW

CEO of Largest Private Prison Company: No Worries About Immigration Reform

CEO of Largest Private Prison Company: No Worries About Immigration Reform

by Seth Freed Wessler on February 14 2013, 4:26PM

On a call for investors on Thursday, the president and CEO of the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the country’s largest private prison contractor, said that he’s not concerned about the impact that immigration reform might have on the immigration…

Topics: Immigration Reform, /NOW

Marco Rubio's Impossible Task: Make Racism Palatable to Latinos

Marco Rubio’s Impossible Task: Make Racism Palatable to Latinos

by Seth Freed Wessler on February 14 2013, 10:08AM

The ambitious, young senator hews closely to the GOP’s far right on nearly every issue. But Republicans believe a rhetorical shift on immigration alone will bring Latinos into the fold.

Topics: Immigration Reform, Marco Rubio, Politics

5  Things You Probably Didn't Know About Drones in the U.S.

5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Drones in the U.S.

by Seth Freed Wessler, Jamilah King on February 13 2013, 10:33AM

No, the LAPD didn’t use a drone to track and kill Christopher Dorner. But the devices are still being used in some very unsettling ways to track U.S. citizens on American soil.

Topics: Criminal Justice, National Security

Senate Immigration Hearing Will Feature Jose Antonio Vargas

Senate Immigration Hearing Will Feature Jose Antonio Vargas

by Seth Freed Wessler on February 11 2013, 3:40PM

After months of back room immigration reform talks on the Hill and declarations of broad principles for legislative overhaul from elected officials and the president, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its opening hearing on immigration this week. The hearing…

Topics: /NOW

At Least Eight States Have Already Considered Welfare Drug Tests This Year

At Least Eight States Have Already Considered Welfare Drug Tests This Year

by Seth Freed Wessler on February 7 2013, 4:26PM

In the first few weeks of the new legislative sessions, lawmakers in at least 8 states have proposed bills to impose drug tests on applicants to family safety net programs. Last year I reported that Republican state legislators went on…

Topics: /NOW

DREAMers Say Obama's Not Off the Hook for Record Deportations

DREAMers Say Obama’s Not Off the Hook for Record Deportations

by Seth Freed Wessler on February 6 2013, 1:56PM

DREAMers say Obama’s not off the hook for record deportations.

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Reform, /NOW

How Immigration Reform Could Expand Incarceration of Immigrants

How Immigration Reform Could Expand Incarceration of Immigrants

by Seth Freed Wessler on February 6 2013, 9:47AM

On it’s face, reform would mean fewer immigrants locked up. But House GOP and private prison operators are working to make sure that’s not the case.

Topics: Criminal Justice, Immigration Reform

Rep. Conyers at Immigration Hearing: Don't Say 'Illegal Immigrant'

Rep. Conyers at Immigration Hearing: Don’t Say ‘Illegal Immigrant’

by Seth Freed Wessler on February 5 2013, 12:30PM

Conyers is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Topics: /NOW

Get Ready to Rumble: House Names Tomorrow's Immigration Panel Speakers

Get Ready to Rumble: House Names Tomorrow’s Immigration Panel Speakers

by Seth Freed Wessler on February 4 2013, 1:13PM

Let’s get ready to rumble.

Topics: /NOW

Obama Delivers Predictable Immigration Speech, Silent on Easing Record Deportations

Obama Delivers Predictable Immigration Speech, Silent on Easing Record Deportations

by Seth Freed Wessler on January 29 2013, 3:41PM

It’s finally here.

Topics: /NOW

A Striking New Consensus on Immigration Reform--Thus Far

A Striking New Consensus on Immigration Reform—Thus Far

by Seth Freed Wessler on January 29 2013, 9:56AM

Washington may be headed to the most significant immigration overhaul in generations. But an old debate looms: When is the border secure enough?

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Reform

Senate Takes First Step on Immigration With Bi-Partisan Plan

Senate Takes First Step on Immigration With Bi-Partisan Plan

by Seth Freed Wessler on January 28 2013, 10:08AM

A group of Senators who have been meeting about reform since the election will release its principles for reform today.

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Reform