Cristian Farias

Cristian Farias

Cristian Farias is a writer-in-residence at the Knight First Amendment Institute, where he reports on and researches issues at the intersection of free expression and the U.S. border.

As part of that project, Farias is documenting how the government is restricting First Amendment freedoms in the context of immigration enforcement and policymaking across a range of areas. From device searches at the border to the harassment of journalists covering migration stories to the targeting of immigrants and immigrants’ rights activists, the federal government routinely pushes the limits of its constitutional authority, resulting in less speech, less privacy, and fewer protections for those who depend on the First Amendment the most. 

Before joining the Knight Institute, Farias was a member of The New York Times editorial board, where he wrote about the Supreme Court, criminal justice, civil rights, and other legal issues. Before that, he was a legal columnist for New York magazine, a Supreme Court reporter for The Huffington Post, and a legal editor with Radiolab's "More Perfect," a podcast about the Supreme Court. 

Over the years, Cristian’s articles and insights have appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Slate, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, POLITICO Magazine, Fusion, Fox News Latino, and El Diario, a leading Spanish newspaper in New York. During a prior writing residency, he worked with the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, focusing on racial equality and civil rights history. 

In a prior life, Cristian was an entertainment journalist. In 2009, in a professional twist, he became a probation officer with the New Jersey court system, a civil-service position that sparked his interest in criminal law and civil rights. He is a graduate of Rutgers University, where he wrote for the student newspaper, and the City University of New York School of Law, where he served as managing articles editor for the CUNY Law Review and as a fellow with the Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality.