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:

DACA Recipients Scramble to Reapply, But Not All are Eligible

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Young immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are figuring out who's eligible to reapply before President Trump's Oct. 5 deadline, and the window is very narrow.


Trump Administration Declines to Release Information on Immigration Enforcement

Friday, September 08, 2017

Federal authorities asked local jails and police to detain more immigrants earlier this year, then stopped responding to records requests.


Brooklyn DA's Pledge to Reduce Marijuana Prosecutions Makes Little Difference

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Three years ago, the Brooklyn District Attorney announced he would no longer prosecute as many people for marijuana possession. But WNYC found the impact wasn’t as big as expected.

Comments [2]

Brooklyn District Attorney Candidates Differ on Immigration Policy

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Acting Brooklyn D.A. Eric Gonzalez doesn't want convictions for minor crimes to affect a person's immigration status. But two of his opponents in next week's Democratic primary disagree.


Trump Administration, Rights Groups Reach Settlement Over First Travel Ban

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Justice Department has agreed to help approximately 150 people affected by President Trump's first travel ban reenter the U.S., as part of a settlement. 


In Brooklyn District Attorney Race, a Different Kind of Law-and-Order

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Democratic candidates promise to go light on prostitution, turnstile jumping and other "survival crimes" while cleaning out the DA's closets.


Study Finds the Southern Pine Beetle May be Chewing North

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The hungry southern pine beetle could spread along the Atlantic coast as far north as Nova Scotia by 2020, according to a new study by the journal Nature Climate Change. 


New Yorkers Protest Charlottesville Violence and Trump's Reaction

Sunday, August 13, 2017

New Yorkers protested President Trump's reaction to the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia by taking to the streets.

Comments [2]

City District Attorneys Purge Almost 645,000 Old Warrants

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Nearly 645,000 old summonses were vacated on Wednesday in an unusually sweeping agreement involving four of the city's district attorneys.


Twenty Years Later: The Police Assault on Abner Louima and What it Means

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The horrific attack in the bathroom of an NYPD precinct house in Brooklyn changed New York, but maybe not enough.

Comments [4]

Even More Immigration Judges are Reassigned in Trump's Border Crackdown

Thursday, July 20, 2017

In its crackdown on illegal immigration, the Trump administration has moved half of the judges in New York City's immigration court — the busiest in the nation — to the southern border.

Comments [1]

New York Democrats Tell ICE: Stay Away from Human Trafficking Courts

Friday, July 14, 2017

Ten New York Democratic members of congress have sent a letter to ICE asking them to review their policy on sending officers to human trafficking court.


Marijuana Arrests Decline in the City, But Racial Disparities Remain High

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Several groups said it's time to legalize marijuana possession in New York, because blacks and Latinos continue to be arrested at a higher rate than whites.

Comments [2]

For Immigrant Parents, Reunification with Children Now Carries Risk of Smuggling Charges

Friday, July 07, 2017

Immigration advocates are alarmed by the federal government's change in tactics in the past few weeks. 


Immigrant 'Representative' Faces $1.3M Fine for Deceptive Practices

Friday, June 30, 2017

New York City's consumer affairs agency says a Bronx charity operator sold ID cards that falsely promised protection from deportation.


Can New York Keep Immigration Agents Out of The Courthouses?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

City Council members held a hearing on how to keep federal immigration agents out of city courthouses, but the suggestions may be tough to implement.


Immigrant 'Representative' Loses Accreditation

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A WNYC/Telemundo investigation found Carlos Davila promised immigrants too much, and hid a criminal past.


Who's Really Affected by the Supreme Court's Travel Ban Ruling

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

President Trump sees Monday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on his travel ban as a "clear victory" for national security. But immigration advocates aren't so sure.


ICE Agents Are Showing Up In Human Trafficking Courts

Monday, June 26, 2017

Immigration advocates claim there are more sightings of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in courthouses looking to detain people, including human trafficking victims.

Comments [2]

When ICE Shows Up in Human Trafficking Court

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Immigrant advocates want to make it harder for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to arrest people in any courts, let alone the ones that treat defendants as victims, not criminals.