Seth Freed Wessler


Seth Freed Wessler


Is Denaturalization the Next Front in the Trump Administration’s War on Immigration?

The Justice Department has made denaturalizing US citizens a “strategic objective." Officials call the targets "fraudsters" and “nefarious actors." I looked into early cases and that's not what I found. Meet Odette Dureland and Abdo Wasel.
New York Times Magazine Link to Story

Monumental Lies

The Civil War ended more than 150 years ago, but the Confederacy didn’t completely die with it. Monuments, shrines and museums are found throughout the South. We teamed up with The Investigative Fund to visit dozens of them and found that for devoted followers they inspire a disturbing – and distorted – view of history: Confederate generals as heroes.
Reveal/Center for Investigative Reporting Link to Story

Costs of the Confederacy

In the last decade alone, American taxpayers have spent at least $40 million on Confederate monuments and groups that perpetuate racist ideology.
Smithsonian Link to Story

‘When I Say I’m Complicit, This Is What I Mean’

What happens when your job makes you an accomplice to the Trump administration’s war on immigrants and refugees.

Is Canada Complicit in ‘Violating International Law’?

"If we've figured out a way to use Canadian equipment and personnel to facilitate a U.S. policy and the United States is then violating international rules in using Canada's ships and personnel, we're complicit in that illegality."

The Coast Guard’s ‘Floating Guantánamos’

The open waters between Ecuador and Colombia, from which Jhonny Arcentales departed. Glenna Gordon for The New York Times. On nights when the November rain poured down and he had not slept at all, Jhonny Arcentales had visions of dying, of his body being cast into the dark ocean. He would imagine his wife and their teenage son tossing his clothes into a pit in a cemetery and gathering at the local church for his funeral.
The New York Times Magazine Link to Story

Days of Deportation

To mark President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, the Department of Homeland Security posted a multimedia update on its website featuring video of faceless federal agents placing handcuffs on a series of suspects. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers had detained some 41,000 undocumented immigrants in that period—a 38 percent year-on-year increase—which, according to the site, reflects “President Trump’s commitment to enforce our immigration laws.”.

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

Trump's Looming Mass Criminalization

 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

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


Seth Freed Wessler

Seth Freed Wessler is a Peabody Award and Hillman Prize-winning investigative reporter and a fellow at Type Investigations (formerly called The Nation Institute). He has reported for The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, ProPublica, the Smithsonian Magazine, This American Life, Reveal/The Center for Investigative Reporting, and other outlets.

Seth was a staff reporter for and and a Visiting Scholar at NYU’s Arthur Carter Journalism Institute, a Soros Media Fellow, a Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good, and a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. His work on immigration enforcement, federal prisons and social services has spurred legislative reforms, inspired advocacy campaigns, and led to shifts in federal and state policy.

Seth has been awarded a Peabody Award, the Hillman Prize, the John Bartlow Martin Award, the John Jay/Guggenheim Award for Criminal Justice Reporting, the Izzy Award, a Salute to Excellence Award from NABJ, the Investigative Prize business reporting from SABEW, the Al Neuharth Award for Investigative Journalism from NAHJ, and the Immigration Journalism Prize from the French-American Foundation. He has appeared on NPR's Fresh Air, WNYC, Democracy Now, ABC Nightline, and MSNBC.