Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) appeared on "Fox & Friends" Wednesday to explain her new proposed zero-tolerance legislation that would make first-time illegal border crossings a felony.

Dubbed the “Zero Tolerance for Illegal Entry Act,” Black’s bill would also mandate employers use the E-Verify system to ensure employees are in the country legally and allowed to work in the U.S.

Additionally, it redirects funding from so-called sanctuary cities to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Black said she believes that making illegal entry into the U.S. a felony offense -- as opposed to a misdemeanor -- would disincentivize people who are considering illegally crossing the border.


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She said that using E-Verify and defunding sanctuary cities would also help disincentivize illegal immigrants from entering the U.S. to begin with.

"We can all agree that we need to have a secure border. And a part of doing that is to hold people accountable," Black said. "And I think we need to stand up. We need to know who's coming to our country, why they're coming here, what they're bringing and how long they stay. And that’s just good security in our country to keep us safe."

Black, who has served in Congress since 2011 and is running for Tennessee governor, said she expects the bill to attract support in the House.

"We are [a] compassionate people but we also are a people that want to secure our country and make sure that we can say who is coming here and why."


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