State and local politicians late Wednesday gathered at Dejope Residence Hall to discuss a proposed bill that would remove Madison’s status as a sanctuary city.

Drafted by Rep. John Spiros, R-Marshfield, the bill would withhold funding from cities that ignore federal immigration laws and harbor illegal immigrants.

The event, entitled “Changemakers,” was hosted by the University of Wisconsin Center for Cultural Enrichment, and included attendees such as Mayor Paul Soglin, Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison and Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, among others.

According to the bill, sanctuary cities could lose between $500 to $5,000 of state aid, depending upon population, for each day of noncompliance with the proposed bill. The measure passed the State Assembly with a vote of 63-35.

State Rep. Lisa Subeck, D-Madison, said she, as well as the rest of the politicians present, disapprove the proposed legislation.

“This is really just an anti-immigrant bill,” Subeck said. “It has little to do with safety, little to do with any enforcement, little to do with much of anything, but an opportunity to promote anti-immigrant, and biased, and hateful rhetoric.

Subeck believes it will undo years of work by law to build trust within our immigrant communities.

The panel bridged the conversation toward discussion of politics at a larger-scale. They disapproved of the national administration’s current efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

Additionally, they denounced Gov. Scott Walker’s role in limiting citizens’ access to BadgerCare.

Walker “put politics ahead of people” when he kicked around 80,000 people off of BadgerCare because of his presidential run, Subeck said. This left many without healthcare because they did not make enough money afford their own insurance, but they made too much to qualify for Affordable Care Act subsidies.

“I want to see [Republicans] working for us, not working against us,” Subeck said. “That means keeping the Affordable Care Act in place, and it means building on that, and it means here at the state level expanding the affordable option for all.”