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Obama: 'Passions' Still Fly On Immigration,' As Seen On Social Media

Image: Joselyn Vargas, 7, of Hyattsville, Md., waves a U.S. flag during a rally across from the White House
Joselyn Vargas, 7, of Hyattsville, Md., waves a U.S. flag during a rally in Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, thanking President Obama for his executive action on immigration. Vargas' parents are eligible under the executive action as the girl and her younger sister are U.S. citizens. Jacquelyn Martin / AP

During the State of the Union, President Obama said few specific remarks on immigration.

"Yes, passions still fly on immigration, but surely we can all see something of ourselves in the striving young student, and agree that no one benefits when a hardworking mom is taken from her child, and that it’s possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants," said Obama.

But passions did fly - mainly on social media - largely in reaction to Iowa Republican congressman Steve King's tweet, calling one of First Lady Michelle Obama's guests, DREAMer Ana Zamora, "deportable."

Reaction to the Iowa congressman's tweet was swift, as seen in prominent DREAMer Lorella Praelli's tweet as well as others.

Though most do not expect the President's speech to sway Republican legislators in the House, Latino political observers said it was important for Obama to continue making the case that Democrats have been proactive on immigration as both parties tee up to 2016.

"Raising the issue about immigration and executive action in that chamber takes on special meaning, in particular because the (Republican) House hasn't done anything about it," said Sylvia Manzano, a principal at the polling firm Latino Decisions. "In the end, Congress is willing to do enforcement, but not deal with the undocumented population," said Manzano.

University of Maryland political scientist Stella Rouse said that if Republicans refuse to fund executive action, in two years opposition to Obama's unilateral actions will be less of an issue than the fact that Congress did not move on immigration.

And for many Latino voters, it's an important issue, especially at the voting booth.

"Now he’s laying it out there, throwing the target up in the air and let Republicans shoot it down if they want to," said Rouse.

--Sandra Lilley