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Obama Continues Push Against Controversial Immigration Law

The Obama administration is continuing to press against a tough immigration law in the southwestern state of Arizona, filing an appeal about a related law to the Supreme Court and meeting with Arizona officials.

The U.S. Justice Department on Friday asked the Supreme Court to overturn rulings by lower courts that preserved the Legal Arizona Workers Act of 2008. That law punishes Arizona businesses that employ illegal immigrants. The Justice Department says existing federal law has precedent in regulating hiring practices.

Also on Friday, Justice Department officials met with Arizona's attorney general and some staff members of the state governor to discuss a separate immigration law Arizona enacted last month.

Justice Department officials say the Obama administration has serious reservations about the legislation. Among other measures, the law requires Arizona police to question people if there is reason to believe they are illegal immigrants.

Arizona's Attorney General Terry Goddard told the Justice Department officials he will vigorously defend the law.

Civil rights groups say the law discriminates against people based on race. The legislation has prompted President Barack Obama to urge Congress to work with him on comprehensive immigration reform.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.