Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn) has filed a bill that would make illegally crossing the U.S. border a felony crime. Currently, a 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.
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.