WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – Rep. Diane Black, R-TN, has filed a bill that would make illegally crossing the U.S. border a felony crime. Currently, first-time illegal crossing is a misdemeanor offense.
The Zero Tolerance for Illegal Immigration Act would also rescind federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities and direct the money to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Black’s office says the bill is designed to disincentivize illegal border crossing.
Read more: See the full text of Black’s bill
“The United States government should never prioritize illegal immigrants over American citizens,” Black said. “We must have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to illegal border crossings and sanctuary cities, and we must give ICE the resources they need to do their job as they protect our nation.”
Black is a four-term congressman representing the Nashville area. She is currently a candidate in the hotly contested Tennessee governor’s race. Tennessee’s primary election is set for August 2.