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:

Long Island Lawsuits Challenge Local Cooperation with Federal Immigration Agents

Monday, February 05, 2018

A cluster of new lawsuits in Nassau and Suffolk challenge whether state law allows local law enforcement to hold immigrants wanted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


Judge Scolds Trump Again in Brooklyn DACA Case

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A federal judge in Brooklyn had more harsh words for the President during a hearing that challenges the decision to end DACA, the program that protects young undocumented immigrants. 


Judge Orders the Release of Immigration Activist Ravi Ragbir

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Trinidadian citizen has been fighting deportation for years, but was recently detained during a check-in with ICE. A federal judge called his detention "unnecessarily cruel."

Comments [3]

Racial Disparities Persist in Who's Arrested for Pot Possession

Friday, January 26, 2018

Blacks and Hispanics account for a disproportionate share of those arrested in New York City for marijuana possession, a persistent pattern that raises tough questions about policing.


For One Dreamer, Latest DACA Ruling Is a New Ray of Hope

Friday, January 19, 2018

Young, undocumented immigrants in the DACA program won a reprieve last week when a federal judge in California forced the government to let them reapply. One New Yorker rushed to do so.


Immigration Activist Ravi Ragbir Will Fight Deportation Closer to Home

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The federal government has agreed to move Ragbir from a detention center in Florida to one in New York, as he continues his legal challenge.


Still Too High? Marijuana Arrests Barely Budge in NYC

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Arrests for smoking and possessing marijuana in New York City stagnated in 2017, disappointing public defenders and drug reform advocates who want to decriminalize those activities.


Arrests and Protests Follow Detention of an Immigrant Activist

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Police arrested 18 people, including two city councilmembers, at a protest following the detention of immigration activist Ravi Ragbir of the New Sanctuary Coalition.

Comments [3]

For Immigrants, Reporting Fraud May Be Scarier Than Ever

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Since President Trump took office, undocumented immigrants seem more afraid to report scams, according to data WNYC collected from New York prosecutors and other agencies.

Comments [2]

Manhattan and Brooklyn DA's Stop Asking for Bail in Most Misdemeanor Cases

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The district attorneys said they'll take steps on their own to reduce inequality in the justice system by no longer asking for bail in most misdemeanor cases.

Comments [1]

What Can New York Learn from New Jersey's Bail Reform?

Thursday, January 04, 2018

New York Gov. Cuomo wants bail reform for New York. Across the river, New Jersey replaced cash bail with an algorithm that determines who should be locked up while awaiting trial.


Could Bail Reform Come to New York in 2018?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

New Jersey implemented sweeping changes to its bail system in 2017. Now, criminal justice advocates believe New York has an opportunity to make its own changes in 2018.


Yemeni Americans Say Trump's Travel Ban Tears Families Apart

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Yemeni Americans ignored the cold as they rallied in Lower Manhattan to protest the latest version of the travel ban, which they claim has kept relatives stranded abroad.


Are Immigrants Avoiding Court?

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Advocates say yes, but there's no clear data to suggest immigrants are afraid to go to court because they may encounter Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.


Volunteers In NYC Show Support For Immigrants At Court Appearances, Appointments

Monday, December 25, 2017

A new type of volunteer opportunity has taken off in New York City. Hundreds of people are going with immigrants to court appearances and appointments with immigration officials. With President Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration, they want to show solidarity, and be a friendly support system.


Needy New Yorkers Feel the Warmth on Christmas

Monday, December 25, 2017

Hundreds of people lined up for free winter coats on Christmas morning, as the New York Cares Coat Drive celebrated its 29th year of giving.


Wait, Hold That Wrapping Paper! It's Recyclable

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The city's sanitation department is urging New Yorkers to take a moment to think about recycling responsibly during the joy of unwrapping their holiday presents.


Volunteers Step Up For Immigrant 'Friends' in Need

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A growing number of New Yorkers are accompanying immigrants at court appearances and meetings with federal officials to provide moral support during a time of heightened fear.

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Federal Appeals Court Hears Arguments Over Trump's Decision to End DACA

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A federal appeals court panel in New York heard arguments in a case challenging the Trump Administration's decision to terminate DACA, the program that protects undocumented immigrants. 


ICE Sought Ten Times as Many People in NYC Jails as in Previous Year

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

WNYC has learned federal officials asked the city's Department of Correction to detain 10 times as many immigrants as last year. But the city said nobody met the criteria.