"Instead of supporting their dream, Governor Romney wants to make their lives so miserable, so oppressive, so intolerable that they would leave behind the life they've built and self-deport," he added in his prepared remarks.
Villaraigosa said Democrats appreciate diversity, which he said can be seen in cities like Los Angeles.
"In Los Angeles, we know our communities are stronger for their diversity," he said. "From Westwood to Wilmington, from Silver Lake to Sherman Oaks, we may come from different backgrounds, we may speak different languages, we may worship in different ways, but all of us — no matter our accent or ancestry — are pursuing the same American Dream.
"It's the dream that brought my grandfather from León, Guanajuato, Mexico, to Los Angeles a century ago with little money, even less English, but an unshakable faith in the relationship between work and reward."
The mayor also praised the Democratic convention for being "the most diverse, most inclusive convention ever held — a convention not just of symbolism, but of substance."