Beth Fertig

Senior Reporter, WNYC News

Beth Fertig is a senior reporter covering courts and legal affairs. She focuses on how different New Yorkers interact with the civil and criminal justice systems. Her work explores whether justice is meted out fairly and whether programs within the courts can reduce incarceration and solve social problems. She also covers the federal immigration courts and how changes in immigration law affect New Yorkers under President Donald Trump's administration.

Beth started working at WNYC in 1995 covering city politics and spent many years covering public education. She is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. She also worked on the award-winning WNYC series  “Being 12” and reported on efforts to promote integration in the New York City public schools. Follow her @bethfertig.

Beth is a New York City native who discovered her love for journalism at her college newspaper at the University of Michigan. She also has a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. She’s won many local and national awards, including the prestigious Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award for Broadcast Journalism for her series of reports in 2001 about an effort to privatize some struggling city schools.

Beth also won an Edward R. Murrow award for an investigation of a subway fire. And she’s won numerous awards from the city's Deadline Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the New York Press Club -- which gave her a special award after the 2001 terrorist attacks for a profile on the friendship of two WTC survivors.

Beth Fertig appears in the following:

Immigration Agents Make 225 Arrests During Six-Day Crackdown in New York Area

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Immigration and Customs Enforcement says 225 people were arrested over six days in New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley during its "Operation Keep Safe in New York."

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"We're Just Doing Our Jobs," says WNYC Caller Claiming to Be an Immigration Agent

Friday, April 13, 2018

During a segment about immigration enforcement in courts, a listener claiming to be an immigration agent said she feels vilified by the public. 


Public Defenders Protesting ICE

Friday, April 13, 2018

Public defenders walking out of courthouses to protest ICE presence.

New York Courts Act Against Lawyers Protesting Immigration Agents

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Office of Court Administration appears to be losing patience with public defenders protesting the presence of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in city courthouses.

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New York Immigrants Have the Nation's Highest Rate of Legal Representation

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Immigrants in New York state are much less likely to receive deportation orders than in other states, and their high rates of legal representation likely play a big role.


What Bail Reform Could Look Like in New York

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Legislative leaders in Albany prefer to talk about bail reform after the budget deadline of April 1. Here's what's in the governor's proposal and why it's controversial.


Nibbling Around the Edges of Bail in New York City

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The city, its judges and prosecutors have said they're trying to help poor people who can't afford bail, but their efforts can go only so far without change in state law.


Is Progressive Bail Reform All Talk and No Action?

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Beth Fertig explains what's wrong with bail in New York City, and can proposed reforms really fix it.


Paying Bail? You May Get Stuck at the Boat

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

As Albany lawmakers tackle the thorny issue of bail reform, we look at how the existing system not only keeps poor defendants behind bars — it's also a hassle for anyone trying to pay. 

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Trump Administration Reviewing Thousands of Deportation Cases Once Put on Pause

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Data obtained by WNYC reveals that the Trump Administration sought to revisit thousands of cases last year of immigrants who were no longer in active deportation proceedings.

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March 5th Is Just Another Monday for Young Immigrants Awaiting Legislation

Monday, March 05, 2018

Today was supposed to be when the federal government ended DACA, which protects undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. But they're still in a holding pattern.


NYPD Tells Skeptical Council Members Complaints Drive Marijuana Arrests

Monday, February 26, 2018

At a council hearing, the NYPD also denied there's any racial bias in enforcement, despite data showing blacks and Latinos are disproportionately arrested on marijuana charges.

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Long Island Lawsuits Challenge Local Cooperation with Federal Immigration Agents

Monday, February 05, 2018

A cluster of new lawsuits in Nassau and Suffolk challenge whether state law allows local law enforcement to hold immigrants wanted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


Judge Scolds Trump Again in Brooklyn DACA Case

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A federal judge in Brooklyn had more harsh words for the President during a hearing that challenges the decision to end DACA, the program that protects young undocumented immigrants. 


Judge Orders the Release of Immigration Activist Ravi Ragbir

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Trinidadian citizen has been fighting deportation for years, but was recently detained during a check-in with ICE. A federal judge called his detention "unnecessarily cruel."

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Racial Disparities Persist in Who's Arrested for Pot Possession

Friday, January 26, 2018

Blacks and Hispanics account for a disproportionate share of those arrested in New York City for marijuana possession, a persistent pattern that raises tough questions about policing.


For One Dreamer, Latest DACA Ruling Is a New Ray of Hope

Friday, January 19, 2018

Young, undocumented immigrants in the DACA program won a reprieve last week when a federal judge in California forced the government to let them reapply. One New Yorker rushed to do so.


Immigration Activist Ravi Ragbir Will Fight Deportation Closer to Home

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The federal government has agreed to move Ragbir from a detention center in Florida to one in New York, as he continues his legal challenge.


Still Too High? Marijuana Arrests Barely Budge in NYC

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Arrests for smoking and possessing marijuana in New York City stagnated in 2017, disappointing public defenders and drug reform advocates who want to decriminalize those activities.


Arrests and Protests Follow Detention of an Immigrant Activist

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Police arrested 18 people, including two city councilmembers, at a protest following the detention of immigration activist Ravi Ragbir of the New Sanctuary Coalition.

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