JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow met with the Jackson community Friday morning, but issues from Washington were still front and center.

The democratic senator from Michigan was in Jackson speaking at the annual MLK Diversity Breakfast.

6 News spoke with the senator at the event.

Sen. Stabenow says the event that honors Martin Luther King carries an important message.

“And I think it’s really important that now more than ever, we recommit to reaching out, caring about one another, respecting one another,” Senator Stabenow said.

Fiery national debate has dominated the past year.

Stabenow says she’s focused on avoiding the divisiveness.

“Right now I’m very focused on a bipartisan initiative I’ve negotiated to continue long term the Children’s Health Insurance Program. 100,000 children n Michigan are affected,” Sen. Stabenow said.

As congress works out immigration reform, 6 News asked the senator it it’s difficult to have positive dialog when controversial comments are attributed to the president.

“The kinds of comments that the president is making are terrible. And they are divisive. Right at a time when we need to be finding ways to work together,” Sen. Stabenow said.

She also talked about finding a solution for DACA.

“They were promised that if they worked hard, they would be a permanent part of our country. Our country needs to keep its promise to them,” Sen. Stabenow said.

And while it may be a tense time, the senator believes a positive direction can be found.

“I don’t have to agree with a colleague on everything to work with them on one thing,” Sen. Stabenow said. “I just try to bring a positive, optimistic view and I think that it makes it easier to get things done.”

Stabenow says she’s sticking around Michigan to attend the auto show in Detroit and then she’s heading back to D.C.