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:

To Help Close Rikers, City Bets on a Growing Alternative to Bail

Monday, April 10, 2017

For the city to close the complex, it has to stop sending poor defendants to jail simply because they can't post bail. An alternative called supervised release is showing promise.  


Bronx Man Released from Detention, but Still at Risk of Deportation

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Juan Vivares is back with his family in the Bronx, two weeks after immigration agents abruptly sent him to a Texas detention center.


The Judge Will See You Now. By Skype.

Monday, April 03, 2017

For domestic violence victims, it can be hard enough to talk about what happened, let alone go to court for an order of protection. But what if they could do so remotely? 

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Colombian Man's Swift Detention Worries Immigrant Advocates

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Colombian who lost his asylum case was flown to a Texas detention center a day after being detained in New York, raising new questions about President Trump's immigration policies. 


Family Court Judges Get Guidance on How to Help Immigrant Crime Victims

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A new memo explains what New York family court judges can do to assist immigrants who help law enforcement.


A Witness' Best Friend in Court

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

We've all seen working dogs sniffing luggage in airports or assisting police. But there's a growing movement to provide working dogs in courthouses for emotional security.


Trump Administration Clashes with New York City Policy on Detaining Immigrants

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The federal government claims the city refused to turn over four unauthorized immigrants last month, but the city is standing by its own policy.


Immigrants Feel Under Siege and the City Council Wants to Help

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

City Council members are looking for ways to make New York's immigrants feel more secure in the age of President Trump. 


With Bharara Out, What's Next for NY's Southern District Office?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

As U.S. Attorney, Preet Bharara handled high-profile public corruption and Wall Street cases. Watchdogs question whether his successor will have the same priorities.

Comments [2]

Lawyers Warn More City Immigrants Will Need Their Help

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

A city program that guarantees free attorneys for immigrants in detention is asking lawmakers to double its budget, partly because of President Trump's crackdown on immigration.


Muslim Men Seek Compensation for Being on No-Fly List

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Three Muslim men claim their rights were violated when FBI agents put them on the No-Fly List in order to coerce them into becoming informants.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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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