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:

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.

Comments [2]

'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.

Comments [11]

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. 

Comments [2]

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.


Public Defenders Claim Court Hearings by Video Deny Immigrants Due Process

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The lawsuit claims technical failures with video technology are rampant, leading to delays, and even more time in detention. 


City's Federal Courts Brace for Full Force of Shutdown

Monday, January 21, 2019

Manhattan's busy federal court has a backup plan if the shutdown causes contract workers, including security guards, to call in absent: hearings by video.


Christmas at the Border: Volunteers Spend Their Holiday Helping Migrants

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

As migrants from Central America gather in Tijuana, hoping to apply for asylum, volunteers from New York have joined them to provide moral support.

Comments [3]

Stock Market Losses Make Some Holiday Shoppers Anxious

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Several shoppers at the Union Square Holiday Market said recent losses on Wall Street are having an impact on their choice of holiday presents.


Bronx DA Won't Ask Supreme Court to Decide on Jury Trials for Immigrants

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Darcel Clark says she won't seek an opinion from the high court to overturn a ruling that found immigrants deserve jury trials when accused of misdemeanors.


NYC Volunteers Prepare to Offer Moral Support to Migrants on the Border

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

The New Sanctuary Coalition is training the volunteers before they travel to the border to help migrants.

Comments [5]

Remembering Former City Schools Chancellor Harold Levy

Thursday, November 29, 2018

He was a brash intellectual, a progressive and a Wall Street lawyer and he was the first non-educator to lead the nation's largest school system. 


New York's Highest Court Rules Immigrants Deserve Jury Trials, Even for Misdemeanors

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Legal Aid Society calls it a "landmark case" that will provide clients a meaningful opportunity to fight against criminal charges that could lead to deportation.

Comments [5]

Immigrant Groups Have a Special Reason to Oppose Amazon's Move

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

As opposition mounts against Amazon's move to Queens, the conversation isn't just about gentrification and local jobs, but also about the company's role in immigration enforcement.


NYPD: We Take White Supremacist Groups Seriously

Monday, November 19, 2018

The NYPD says it's treating white supremacists and hate groups as "domestic terrorists."

Comments [3]

Lawsuit: Immigrant Detainees Wait average 80 Days for Court Date

Friday, November 16, 2018

After immigrants get arrested in New York City, a lawsuit claims they spend months in detention, apart from their families, waiting to see a judge for the first time.