Rep. Todd Rokita said Tuesday that his bill could put elected officials in prison for failing to enforce federal immigration law.
"If they're going to act like criminals themselves, if they're going to put the interests of these illegal immigrant criminals above the safety of their own citizens, then we ought to lock them up," Mr. Rokita, Indiana Republican, said on Fox News.
Mr. Rokita introduced the "SLAP Act" on Friday - Stopping Lawless Actions of Politicians Act - which states that those who refuse to enforce immigration laws, such as those in sanctuary cities, could face up to five years in prison and a $1 million fine.
The bill comes after the murder trial of Kate Steinle, who was fatally shot by an illegal immigrant with a criminal history, ended in a not-guilty verdict. Steinle was walking in San Francisco, a sanctuary city, when she was shot in 2015.
The case became a political focal point and one that President Trump pointed to in his campaign as a need for stronger border enforcement and wall.