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:

With More Lawyers for Tenants, City Says Evictions Are Dropping

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

New York City landlords always had attorneys in housing court, but tenants almost never had representation. Until now.


How to Reduce Incarceration: Give Defendants Extra Support

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Bronx Defenders' model of holistic representation, which provides defendants with additional support services, reduced sentence lengths by 24 percent according to a new study.

Comments [2]

Lawsuit Claims Trump Administration Detains Immigrant Kids for Too Long

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Immigrant kids who enter the U.S. alone are being detained in shelters for too long, according to a lawsuit, because of onerous new background checks required of their relatives.


Immigrant Activist Ravi Ragbir Can Stay in U.S. Until Court Decides on His Appeal

Thursday, November 01, 2018

A federal appeals court has granted a stay of deportation to Ragbir, but only until it makes a decision on whether a lower court should hear his First Amendment case.


City Immigrants Fear Being a 'Public Charge'

Thursday, November 01, 2018

The Trump Administration's plan to make it harder for low-income immigrants to get green cards has caused tremendous confusion throughout New York City, and could cost the city money.


City Voter Guide Mistakenly Tells Paroled Felons They Can't Vote

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Felons on parole in New York State now have the right to vote, but New York City's voter guide failed to mention that, risking confusion on election day for thousands of parolees.

Comments [1]

Does the First Amendment Apply to Immigrants Facing Deportation?

Monday, October 29, 2018

Immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir accuses Immigration and Customs Enforcement of trying to deport him for speaking out, but the government claims he doesn't have a case.


Attorneys Say About 20 Migrant Children Separated from Parents Remain in New York

Friday, October 12, 2018

The kids who remain in New York are still waiting to be placed with relatives in the U.S., or sent back to their home countries. Attorneys say it's a frustrating reunification process.


Up to 75,000 Immigrants Could Face Hard Choice Under Trump Rule

Friday, October 12, 2018

New York City has analyzed how the Trump Administration's proposed new rules for green cards will impact low-income immigrants. 

Comments [2]

For a Guatemalan Teen in Brooklyn, the Path to Asylum Has Narrowed

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Like thousands of Central American kids who crossed the U.S. border, 18-year-old Melvin wants asylum. But he arrived just as the Trump Administration made that process harder.

Comments [7]

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.

Comments [2]

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.

Comments [3]

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. 

Comments [6]

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.

Comments [2]

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.

Comments [3]

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.

Comments [1]

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.