Thousands of people rallying for immigration reform poured through several downtown blocks in Los Angeles, California, on Saturday, many waving flags or carrying signs.
"Stop prosecuting our race," one sign read. "Reform not raids," said a banner held by several people as they stretched across a large portion of a road. Some banged drums, and the sound of noisemakers pervaded. American and Mexican flags were common.
The protesters are urging lawmakers and President Barack Obama to move forward with immigration reform legislation - expected to be the president's next big task following this week's passage of the health care bill.
Saturday's event, which was organized by a coalition of family, labor student and community groups, follows a similar rally on the National Mall in Washington earlier this week.
Obama spoke to the crowd there by video on Sunday, saying he will do everything in his power to reach a bipartisan deal within the year.
"You know as well as I do that this won't be easy, and it won't happen overnight," Obama said. "But if we work together across ethnic, state and party lines, we can build a future worthy of our history as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws."
The demonstration in Washington coincided with smaller rallies in cities such as Denver, Colorado, and Phoenix, Arizona.
Four years ago, then-President George W. Bush supported a bipartisan effort to overhaul U.S. immigration laws, proposing a path to legal status for the estimated 11 million people currently in the United States without authorization. But those measures were criticized as establishing "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, and legislation Bush supported died with a Senate filibuster - one led by members of his own party but joined by more than a dozen Democrats.
This week's immigration rallies followed the recent publication of a new plan backed by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina. The plan would create a "tough but fair" path to legalization, as well as a temporary worker program and tighter border controls, the sponsors wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece.
"I don't think it's any different than what the proponents have been pushing since the Bush administration, which is a path to amnesty for those who have broken the laws of this country," Colorado Republican state Sen. Ted Harvey said at the Denver rally.
Obama called the senators' plans promising, and said it "should be the basis for moving forward." He called on Congress to act on that plan at the earliest possible opportunity.
The president's push on immigration also helped secure a key vote for his health care bill. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, announced his support for the bill after receiving a commitment to move forward on immigration "as soon as possible."
-Â CNN en Espanol's Juan Carlos Arciniegas contributed to this report.