How do you put a human face on an injustice that so often goes under the radar? Omar Jadwat, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, is tackling that question in his work on the racial profiling trials against Arizona’s “Sheriff Joe” Arpaio, and in linking that case to the notorious SB1070.

Testimony ended last week at the trial against Arpaio, and now the district judge will decide the case. By “demonstrating in a very visceral way the human cost,” of corruption within an agency charged with our protection, says Jadwat, the case has taken major steps towards ending Arizona’s battering of civil liberties.

Sheriff Arpaio is accused, among other things, of ordering “immigration sweeps” and “patrols not based on reports of crime but rather letters from Arizonans who complained about people with dark skin congregating in an area or speaking Spanish.”

Watch the full conversation with Jadwat at

—Zoë Schlanger