A new bill introduced Tuesday would make first-time illegal border crossing a felony, the Washington Examiner reports.
The legislation, put forward by Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), seeks to "set up a huge disincentive" for crossing the U.S. border outside of an official port of entry. The "Zero Tolerance for Illegal Entry Act" would charge first-time offenders with a felony, punishable by a minimum prison sentence of one year and one day. Currently, the offense is classified as a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum six-month sentence.
"It is utterly ridiculous that a speeding ticket and ILLEGALLY crossing the U.S. border can result in the same consequences — a misdemeanor," Black tweeted. She told the Washington Examiner that her bill would discourage migrants from using smugglers to enter the U.S.
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In addition to reclassifying illegal crossing, the bill would cut funding from all 400 sanctuary cities and counties across the country, punishing any municipality that opts not to comply with requests from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. The funds cut from sanctuary cities would instead go to ICE, Black said.
The bill doesn't currently have widespread support, but Black said she hopes to drum up some GOP co-sponsors who would help bring the legislation to a vote. Read more at the Washington Examiner.
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