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:

Bronx Nonprofit Leader Charged Almost $39K for Scamming Immigrants

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The City's Department of Consumer Affairs was seeking $1.3 million from Carlos Davila for selling phony ID cards to immigrants, but he was ultimately fined much less.

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Why Unaccompanied Minors are Staying Longer in Shelters

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Unaccompanied minors who came to the U.S. without parents are staying longer in federal shelters before joining sponsors, and immigration advocates blame the Trump administration.

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Moms Sue Family Court Over Delays in Child Support

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A lawsuit claims New York's Family Court routinely allows child support cases to drag out, putting families in financial peril. 

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Do Immigrants Get a Fair Day in Court When It's by Video?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Detained immigrants no longer go to court in person in New York City. Instead, they remain jailed in a detention center and participate by video monitor.


Welcome to the Little Dominican Republic

Friday, September 07, 2018

Washington Heights is seeking to attract more tourism and neighborhood pride by promoting its Dominican roots, at a time when the Dominican population is falling.

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City Councilman Wants to Ban Contracts with ICE Enforcement, but There Aren't Any

Thursday, September 06, 2018

With Hudson County, New Jersey moving to cancel its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the New York City Council wants to send a similar message. 


Two Immigrant Children in Connecticut Get Temporary Legal Status After Separation from Parents

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The government agreed to give the children legal status for a year, so they can get treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.


Four Weeks After Judge's Deadline, Numerous Migrant Children Remain in New York

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Not all legal service providers will tell WNYC how many young clients they're still representing to preserve confidentiality, but at least about 30 kids remain for various reasons.

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Why It's Harder for Unaccompanied Minors to Find a Lawyer Now

Monday, August 20, 2018

For years, nearly 80 percent of unaccompanied minors were represented in New York's immigration court but it's now less than 60 percent because immigration lawyers are so busy.

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Immigration Activist Ravi Ragbir Heads Back to Court

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The New Sanctuary Coalition leader claims the government is targeting him for speaking out against its immigration policies, in violation of his First Amendment rights. 


One Week Later, Dozens of Separated Children Remain in New York

Friday, August 03, 2018

An unofficial tally conducted by WNYC finds at least 52 children who were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border are still in New York despite a government deadline.


How Trump's Quota Plan Could Punish New York's Immigration Judges

Thursday, August 02, 2018

The administration is trying to make the immigration courts more efficient with quotas for judges. But New York's wouldn't meet the mark.


Missing Information and Chaos as Migrant Kids in New York Are Reunified with Parents

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Attorneys worry that some children who were sent to rejoin their parents may have to stay in detention centers again, even if it's only in the short term.


Two NY Lawyers Describe Chaos of Reuniting Migrant Children With Parents

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Attorneys Eve Stotland and Kaavya Viswanathan of The Door say several of their young clients likely won't be reunified in time for Thursday's court-ordered deadline.

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What It's Like to Represent a Six-Year-Old in Immigration Court

Thursday, July 19, 2018

About 25 children appeared in Judge Zagzoug's courtroom Thursday, including Leo, who's mom was deported back to Guatemala after they were separated at the southwest border.


For Hundreds of Detained Migrants, Next Stop: Albany

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

More than 300 migrants have been moved to the Albany County jail in recent weeks from other detention centers in the U.S. 


Migrant Mother Finally Regains Full Custody of Her Three Children In New York

Friday, July 13, 2018

Yeni Gonzalez Garcia is no longer limited to daily visits at an East Harlem foster care agency. She can now take her children with her as the family seeks asylum in the U.S. 

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NY Providers Say What They Can About Migrant Children in Their Care

Thursday, July 12, 2018

At a City Council hearing, some of the agencies providing federal foster care for children separated from their parents at the U.S. border took a defensive posture.


Family Reunification Updates

Thursday, July 12, 2018

WNYC senior reporter Beth Fertig discusses what's happening with families separated in the immigration crisis.

Only a Few Young Migrant Children Reunite With Parents in NYC

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Despite a court order, not all children under the age of five who had been sent to New York after being separated from their families were reunited on time.

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