Seth Freed Wessler


Seth Freed Wessler



Dreamers Get Real

Two DACA recipients (now in their 20's) go back to El Salvador for the first time in 12 years. They wanted to see their sick grandfather, and scope out what life would be like if Trump ends DACA ended and they were deported.
This American Life Link to Story

How Trump Could Make Criminals to Deport

 The only way to quickly deport 3 million immigrants is to first make them into criminals—and he’ll have the tools to do so on day one.
The Nation Link to Story

Fresh Air: Investigation Into Private Prisons Reveals Inmate Deaths

Seth Freed Wessler reported on substandard medical care in privately-run prisons in the federal corrections system for The Nation, which may have led the Justice Department to phase out their use. This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. Last week, the Justice Department announced it would start to phase out the use of private for-profit prisons to hold federal inmates.

Federal Officials Ignored Years of Internal Warnings About Deaths at Private Prisons

A trove of 20,000 pages of previously unreleased monitoring reports, internal investigations, and other documents obtained through an open-records suit show that the Bureau of Prisons had been warned of substandard medical care by its own monitors for years but failed to act.
The Nation Link to Story

Sick on the inside: Behind bars in immigrant-only prisons

For years, journalists and advocates have raised questions about medical care inside private federal prisons for noncitizens. This segment exposes the truth behind those complaints, relying on extensive medical files obtained by Investigative Fund reporter Seth Freed Wessler.
Reveal Link to Story

‘This Man Will Almost Certainly Die’

A year-long investigation about men who die of neglect in separate and unequal federal prisons for immigrants.
The Nation Link to Story

Buried Under Inequlity

In the community that helped the Black Lives Matter movement grip the national conscience, all three commercial cemeteries founded for the burial of black bodies have fallen into disrepair. In the 1990s, one of these was dug up to make room for an airport expansion. In Greenwood, in the bareness of winter, fallen gravestones can be spotted through brittle reeds. By summertime, they’ve disappeared. Barbara Harris’s story is repeated by one St. Louis family after the next: visits to loved ones’ graves thwarted by overgrowth and poison ivy.
The Nation Link to Story

Alabama Auto Parts Plant Slapped with Federal Restraining Order

A federal judge in Alabama issued a temporary restraining order Thursday against auto parts manufacturer Lear Corp. after the Labor Department accused the company of illegally harassing its workers and obstructing a federal safety investigation. The Labor Department on Wednesday asked a federal district court to issue the restraining order against Lear that would force it to drop a lawsuit against a worker it fired after she made public statements about unsafe workplace conditions at the company.
NBC News Link to Story

Should a Mental Illness Mean You Lose Your Kid?

In August 2009, Mindi, a 25-year-old struggling new parent, experienced what doctors later concluded was a psychotic episode. She had been staying in a cousin's spare basement room in De Soto, Kansas, while trying get on her feet after an unexpected pregnancy and an abusive relationship. She'd been depressed since her daughter was born and was becoming increasingly distrustful of her relatives.
ProPublica Link to Story

Old, Poor and Undocumented: Immigrants Face Grim Golden Years

Ricardo Perez pushed his ice cream cart up Van Nuys Avenue on a recent near 100-degree afternoon, his brow dropping with sweat. After seven straight 9-hour workdays, Perez pulled in about $400 in profits. The 72-year-old assumes he’ll keep working as a paletero forever. “I spend what I make on rent and food,” Perez says in Spanish, sitting at a metal picnic table near the downtown courthouse where he rolls his cart.
NBC News Link to Story

Phone Home

Seth Freed Wessler reports on people going the opposite direction over the US/Mexico border. Each year hundreds of thousands of people are deported from the US to Mexico — tens of thousands more choose to leave on their own — and lots of them make the journey after years and years living in the states. Wessler explains how customer service call centers in Mexico are capitalizing on the fact that many of these people speak English with American accents. They're hiring such people, and using them to staff customer service lines for American companies. But, for those who've left the US, taking calls over and over from the place they used to call home, it can be a complicated experience.
This American Life Link to Story

Border deaths: The last crossing of Tiger Martinez

On Oct. 3, 2012, Pima County’s deputy chief medical examiner and two assistants peeled open a white vinyl body bag. The corpse inside was recovered in Cochise County, part of the hot Arizona desert lands also known as the Corridor of Death. According to the autopsy report, the 24-year-old man with braided hair was of African descent, with his natural teeth in good condition.
Al Jazeera America Link to Story


Seth Freed Wessler

Seth Freed Wessler is an independent reporter and a fellow at the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute. His work focuses on immigration, criminal justice and inequality. Seth is a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute and was preciously a staff writer for NBCNews and He has reported for ProPublica, This American Life, The Nation, PRI's The World, Elle Magazine, Reveal/The Center for Investigative Reporting, and Al Jazeera. He was named a Soros Justice Media Fellow in 2014 and won a Hillman Prize, a SABEW investigative award, an Izzy Award, and the Reporting Award from New York University, where he was a visiting scholar.