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.

Read Beth's latest reporting on Gothamist.

Beth Fertig appears in the following:


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Supreme Court weights the end of DACA. 

The Women Who Sketch Justice at Work

Monday, November 04, 2019

Because cameras still aren’t allowed in federal court, media organizations rely on a small group of New York City artists to depict what happens at trials and hearings. 

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HIV Positive Woman Wins Asylum, Can Now Bring Over Deported Daughter

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Honduran woman and daughter who were seeking asylum for HIV persecution may now be reunited, after their separation at the border last year.


Three Young Girls Were Separated at the Border from a Father with HIV

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

This family is among hundreds the ACLU claims were wrongfully separated at the border, in the year since a judge blocked the Trump Administration from taking kids away from parents.

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Undocumented Restaurant Worker Is Arrested by ICE During Deposition Against His Employer

Friday, August 16, 2019

A Chinese restaurant worker claims Immigration and Customs Enforcement violated its own policy by detaining him as he pursued a federal lawsuit against a former employer.

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As Raids Failed to Materialize, Many Immigrants Still Felt Fearful

Sunday, July 14, 2019

New York City braced for immigration raids that didn’t come to pass on Sunday.

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Queens DA Candidates Champion Progressive Policies – Some More Than Others

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

After almost three decades of leadership by former Queens DA Richard Brown, the seven challengers running to replace him are competing to showcase their progressive credentials.

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What You Need to Know About the Queens D.A. Candidates

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

There will be a debate among the seven Democrats running for Queens D.A. in the Greene Space on Wednesday. The question is: who will be the biggest reformer?

American Bar Association Says Immigration Courts Are 'On The Brink Of Collapse'

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

The American Bar Association says the nation's immigration courts are so overloaded they're "on the brink of collapse." Now new data show the backlog has grown to almost 900,000 cases.


A Cautionary Tale For DACA Recipients From A Detained Student

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Omar Helalat has spent more than a year at an ICE detention center outside Buffalo, even though charges against him were dropped. His lawyer claims that’s unconstitutional.

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NYC's Immigration Court Is a 'Pressure Cooker'

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

How are NYC's immigration court judges handling a backlog of cases and deluge of new legal frameworks from Washington? 

Presiding Under Pressure

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Meet the new judges working in New York City's immigration court under the Trump administration's higher caseload demands and stricter asylum rules.

Why It's Harder to Win Asylum, Even in New York

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

In immigrant-friendly New York, migrants have historically had a much easier time winning asylum than in other cities. But that's been changing under President Trump.

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'Randomness' at the Border: A Columbia Law Professor Visits Migrants in Tijuana

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

The Trump Administration claims the nation's southern border is at the "breaking point" with so many migrants. Columbia Law School Professor Katherine Franke went to see for herself.

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Fast-Tracking Families Through Immigration Court

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

The strategy is putting additional pressure on immigrants, their attorneys and the newest judges in the nation's busiest immigration court.


Fewer Undocumented Immigrant Crime Victims Are Stepping Forward

Monday, March 25, 2019

There's a way for undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. if they're victims of crime. But applications to the program have fallen since President Trump took office. 

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At Adult Detention Centers, 18-Year-Old Asylum-Seekers Advocate For Themselves

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Eighteen-year-olds coming into the U.S. can be placed in adult detention centers, apart from their families. One young woman was denied entry while her mother and sister were allowed to seek asylum.


A Different Kind of Family Separation at the Border

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

A story of a Honduran family of asylum-seekers.

U.S. Separates Mother and Daughter Fleeing Persecution Due to HIV Status

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

New reporting from WNYC examines the persecution of people living with HIV in Honduras and how asylum proceedings can split families, even when they're fleeing for the same reasons.


A Mother and Daughter Both Have H.I.V. The U.S. Lets in Only One.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

They fled persecution in Honduras. Despite identical circumstances, they were separated at the Texas border, and the daughter was deported.