Garcetti talks immigration at National Council of La Raza conference

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at the National Council of La Raza on Saturday, July 19, 2014.

The federal government's handling of undocumented immigration was the topic of conversation at the annual conference of the National Council of La Raza on Saturday.

La Raza is the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy group in the U.S.

"This situation is heartbreaking and a challenge to our conscience. So we need to keep the children, and their parents and families in our hearts, and in our prayers," said Archbishop Jose Gomez of the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

Gomez and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were among the speakers. The mayor says congress needs to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

"We are literally losing tens of billions of dollars by not integrating these citizens into America, and by having people who live out there in kind of a shadow existence means we don't get as much in taxes from them," Garcetti said.

Over Interstate 5 in Burbank, people opposed to illegal immigration voiced their discontent and their concerns. It was one of several protests in Southern California on Saturday.

"My main concern is how porous the border is, and if we have a terrorist strike that affects our grid, for example, or Long Beach Port, then no one's going to have a job," said Pam Brown of Northridge.

Protesters also gathered in Murrieta, a city at the center of the controversy.

"I'm also sick and tired of my tax-paying, hard-earned dollars going to pay for these people who don't contribute to American society," said resident Kim Adikes.

Busloads of undocumented immigrants who crossed the border in Texas, many of whom are children from Central America, were sent to Murietta, then San Diego for processing.

Garcetti says the nation has failed to address the issue of immigration. He says it's time for Republicans and Democrats to come together.

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