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.

The Scary, Familiar Way Romney Would Shrink the Food Stamp Rolls

The Scary, Familiar Way Romney Would Shrink the Food Stamp Rolls

by Seth Freed Wessler on October 17 2012, 9:36AM

Mitt Romney again used the 47 million Americans on food stamps a line of attack in last night’s debate. But his plan for fixing that is to simply let those families starve.

Topics: 2012 Election, Economy, /NOW

Deported Dad Granted Visits With His Children, But Not His Parental Rights

Deported Dad Granted Visits With His Children, But Not His Parental Rights

by Seth Freed Wessler on October 15 2012, 10:21AM

Felipe Montes is still fighting to save his family.

Topics: Immigration, Felipe Montes

Near Silence on Poverty in the Presidential Debate

by Seth Freed Wessler on October 4 2012, 12:32PM

One of the country’s biggest issues went largely ignored in last night’s presidential debate.

Topics: /NOW

Calif. Gov Protects Some Immigrant Families, Leaves Others Out in the Cold

Calif. Gov Protects Some Immigrant Families, Leaves Others Out in the Cold

by Seth Freed Wessler on October 1 2012, 10:26AM

The bills, inspired in part by Colorlines.com’s Shattered Families investigation, take steps to stop U.S. citizen children from getting stuck in foster care if their parents are detained and deported.

Topics: Immigration, /NOW, Felipe Montes

Decision on Deported Dad's Parental Rights Will Have to Wait

Decision on Deported Dad’s Parental Rights Will Have to Wait

by Seth Freed Wessler on September 26 2012, 9:38AM

The protracted case over Felipe Montes’s parental rights will continue another day.

Topics: Immigration, Felipe Montes

What Kind of House Does an Imprisoned Man Dream About?

What Kind of House Does an Imprisoned Man Dream About?

by Seth Freed Wessler on September 20 2012, 9:30AM

Herman Wallace is a 70-year-old man who’s spent every day of his life in prison since he was convicted of bank robbery in 1967. Here’s his uncanny path to freedom.

Topics: Criminal Justice

A Drone Show On Capitol Hill

by Seth Freed Wessler on September 14 2012, 9:55AM

The government’s best new not-so-secret weapon is on display in the nation’s Capitol.

Topics: /NOW, Technology

Advocates Want Halt to Expansion Of Private Prisons For Non-Citizens

Advocates Want Halt to Expansion Of Private Prisons For Non-Citizens

by Seth Freed Wessler on September 14 2012, 9:25AM

The government has a plan to expand private prisons for immigrants, despite those facilities’ deadly track record.

Topics: Immigration

Private Prison Company's New Profit Source: Mental Health

Private Prison Company’s New Profit Source: Mental Health

by Seth Freed Wessler on September 6 2012, 10:00AM

The State of Texas is poised to outsource management of a public psychiatric hospital to a company that’s made its billions in the business of private criminal and civil immigration lockup.

Topics: Health

The Real Reason Big Brother's Still Spying on New York City's Muslims

The Real Reason Big Brother’s Still Spying on New York City’s Muslims

by Seth Freed Wessler on August 29 2012, 9:34AM

A program that was meant to make New York City “safer” from would-be terrorists has proven to be an abysmal failure. But city officials aren’t budging.

Topics: Criminal Justice, National Security, Spying

Federal Departments Will Research Children and Immigration Enforcement

by Seth Freed Wessler on August 24 2012, 2:56PM

Seth Freed Wessler reports.

Topics: /NOW, Felipe Montes

Deported Dad's Parental Rights Hearing is Postponed

Deported Dad’s Parental Rights Hearing is Postponed

by Seth Freed Wessler on August 10 2012, 1:56PM

Felipe Montes has been fighting for 21 months to regain custody of his three children.

Topics: /NOW, Felipe Montes

Romney Enlists Gingrich on Welfare-Bashing Kick

Romney Enlists Gingrich on Welfare-Bashing Kick

by Seth Freed Wessler on August 8 2012, 5:25PM

Romney has positioned welfare as his newest line of attack, bringing his former primary rival on to serve as head assault dog.

Topics: /NOW, Politics

How the 'Best Interest' Bias of Family Court Threatens Immigrant Parents

How the ‘Best Interest’ Bias of Family Court Threatens Immigrant Parents

by Seth Freed Wessler on August 8 2012, 9:27AM

As recent news shows, determining what’s in a kid’s best interest is far from an objective standard. It’s easily swayed by biases about poor people, about undocumented people, about people of color.

Topics: Immigration, Felipe Montes

Deported Father Returns to Fight For His Children in Exceptional Case

Deported Father Returns to Fight For His Children in Exceptional Case

by Seth Freed Wessler on August 3 2012, 9:57AM

Felipe Montes is one of thousands of deported or detained parents fighting to keep custody of their U.S. citizen children. He has won a rare chance at the due process child courts grant everyone else.

Topics: Immigration, Felipe Montes

Deported Dad Wins Rare 'Parole' to Re-Enter Country for Custody Hearing

Deported Dad Wins Rare ‘Parole’ to Re-Enter Country for Custody Hearing

by Seth Freed Wessler on August 2 2012, 2:22PM

The highly unusual reprieve from ICE follows intense public scrutiny of Felipe Montes’ case since Colorlines.com broke the story of his family’s separation.

Topics: Immigration, /NOW, Felipe Montes

Georgia's Political Cudgel Against the Poor: Drug Testing

Georgia’s Political Cudgel Against the Poor: Drug Testing

by Seth Freed Wessler on July 10 2012, 9:49AM

Georgia followed Florida’s example in forcing safety-net recipients to get drug tests, despite the fact that neither law is likely to stand up in court. Why? Because actual policymaking was never the point.

Topics: Drug Tests, Economy, Politics

Feds Reveal Their Janus Face on Arizona's Racial Profiling

Feds Reveal Their Janus Face on Arizona’s Racial Profiling

by Seth Freed Wessler on June 28 2012, 9:24AM

Despite the Obama administration’s protest of Monday’s Supreme Court ruling, federal immigration officials are poised to continue detaining people rounded up through the state’s “show me your papers” law.

Topics: Arizona's SB 1070, Immigration

What's Next for Arizona and 'Show Me Your Papers' Laws?

What’s Next for Arizona and ‘Show Me Your Papers’ Laws?

by Seth Freed Wessler on June 26 2012, 10:16AM

The legal wrangling is not nearly done. The Supreme Court let the law stand based on the administration’s colorblind challenge, but justices invited a future debate over racial profiling.

Topics: Arizona's SB 1070, Immigration

Feds End Enforcement Program in Arizona Following Supreme Court Ruling

by Seth Freed Wessler on June 25 2012, 4:42PM

Administration officials say the program will be lifted in any state that implements a law similar to Arizona’s SB 1070.

Topics: Immigration, /NOW