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.

Blogs:

Beth Fertig appears in the following:

Here's Why Immigrant Victims May (Still) Be Afraid to Report Crime

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

U visas offer the promise of legal status for immigrants who cooperate with law enforcement, but these days, the decision to come out of the shadows presents a new level of anxiety.

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Immigration Courts Could Get Even Busier Under Trump

Friday, February 17, 2017

While President Trump's executive order implementing a travel ban continues to face litigation, experts say it's his previous order that could overwhelm immigration courts.

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Justice Sotomayor Sees Little Dramatic Change in Supreme Court Demographics

Thursday, February 02, 2017

During a talk at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor didn't say much about President Trump's Supreme Court pick. But she did discuss court diversity

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How Many Detained? Confusion at JFK After Trump's Order

Monday, January 30, 2017

Volunteer lawyers can't say how many arrivals at JFK were affected by president Trump's executive order, which temporarily blocks travel by people from seven Muslim-majority nations.

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Why 'Sanctuary City' Dispute is About Public Safety

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

President Trump's Executive Order means sanctuary cities like New York could lose federal anti-terrorism funds.

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Suit Over Bronx Court Delays to Proceed with New Plaintiffs

Monday, January 23, 2017

A month after being told to find new plaintiffs, a lawsuit challenging long delays for misdemeanor trials in the Bronx was filed again — and it claims the delays got even longer. 

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System Overload For NYC's Immigration Courts

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

With 70,000 pending cases and only 28 judges, New York City's immigration courts are facing a tremendous backlog for hearing cases and proceeding with deportation.

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Why New York's Immigration Courts Are Overwhelmed

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New York City's immigration courts already have a backlog of almost 70,000 pending cases. A close look at one of them reveals why it would be hard for Trump to deport more immigrants.

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City-Funded Lawyers Help More Detained Immigrants Win Cases

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Immigrants facing deportation do not have a right to counsel. However, New York City guarantees public lawyers for some of them and there's growing interest following Trump's election.

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New Jersey Courts to Shift Away from Relying on Bail

Monday, January 02, 2017

A New Jersey state law that took effect on January 1st is intended to move the court system away from relying on monetary bail as a condition of a defendant's release.

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Times Square Visitors Say Good Riddance to 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Hundreds lined up in Times Square to shred documents — and their feelings about 2016 — for the 10th annual Good Riddance Day. 

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Family of Bronx Man Killed by Police Gun to File Suit

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The family of a Bronx man who was killed in August by a panhandler who grabbed a police officer's gun has filed notice of its intent to sue the city for up to $20 million.

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Case Challenging Delays in Bronx Court Can Proceed with New Plaintiffs

Monday, December 26, 2016

A federal judge gave a partial green light to a lawsuit claiming long delays for misdemeanor trials in the Bronx violate the U.S. Constitution's right to a speedy trial.

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After Divisive Year, Finding 'Peace' and 'Love' This Christmas

Sunday, December 25, 2016

For many New Yorkers, their prayers took on a special meaning this year.

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Court Interpreters Wanted — Especially Urdu Speakers

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A survey by Legal Services NYC of its own lawyers found frequent delays in civil courts because there aren't enough interpreters for clients who don't speak English. 

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For Tenants in Housing Court, Study Finds 'Navigators' Can Be Good Alternatives to Lawyers

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A new study finds navigators, trained in the paperwork and lingo of housing court, can provide effective help for city tenants who can't afford lawyers or obtain free counsel.

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Seeking Asylum? Outcomes Vary by Judge

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Whether an immigrant is granted asylum varies greatly depending on the judge hearing the case, according to new data. The highest discrepancy was found among judges in Newark.

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Immigrant Rights Take on New Urgency Post-Election

Friday, December 02, 2016

Workshops throughout New York City are being held on the rights of immigrants, following the election of Donald Trump. 

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Supreme Court Case Could Lead to Longer Detentions for NY Immigrants

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Immigration advocates worry that a case before the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn the rights of New York-area detainees to bail hearings while they await deportation proceedings.

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Legislation Could Make It Easier for the Poor to Post Bail

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A new bill introduced in the City Council could make it easier for poor, low-level offenders to post bail by requiring the courts to ask them more financial questions.

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