I am very proud of the role our two U.S. senators played in ending the government shutdown. This is my “thank you” to them.

I am so pleased with the Jan. 22 vote to move forward, together, to end the government shutdown and to work toward resolution on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the budget. It feels so good to finally see an incredibly bipartisan vote, and their voices were key.

The Senate acted exactly as I had wished: pushing leadership to move from politics to action, reaching across the aisle, garnering over 80 votes. For the first time in years, I feel hopeful!

We can’t listen to the naysayers. If that is all we do, nothing will be accomplished. Immigration law is incredibly complex and has changed a multitude of times over the decades. I am certain that by working together and by remembering that we truly are a nation of immigrants, we will reach a good place.

The people who live here did not all come here legally (multiple amnesties have been granted by presidents of both parties), but they have made a life here and love our country and the ideals that we all hold dear. If we remember them and if we legislate with kindness, not hate, with empathy, not fear, and, yes, with caution but not bigotry – we will be stronger in the end.

I look forward to seeing the next steps.

Jessica Simpson

Cape Elizabeth