January 11, 2024

Ricketts, Blackburn, Colleagues Introduce CONTAINER Act to Empower States to Fight Crisis at Southern Border 

January 11, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) joined Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and 8 Republican colleagues to introduce the Creating Obstructions Necessary to Address Illegal and Nefarious Entry Rapidly (CONTAINER) Act. The bill empowers border states to place temporary barriers on federal land in order to protect their communities.

“The humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border demands urgent and swift action, including building more border wall,” said Senator Ricketts. “Yet the Biden administration has taken action against states that attempt to do that. This must stop. This bill will give states another tool to defend themselves against illegal immigration.”

“Since President Biden took office, there have been over 8.5 million apprehensions at our southern border, turning every state into a border state,” said Senator Blackburn. “Meanwhile, his administration has only exacerbated the problem by trying to stop the use of measures that will secure our border like shipping containers and razor wire. Because Joe Biden refuses to do so, it’s clear Congress must act to give border states the explicit authority to protect their communities and the sovereignty of the United States.”


Last week, the Biden administration asked the Supreme Court to allow U.S. Border Patrol to cut razor wire that is placed along the southern border in Texas, as the White House continues its assault on border states’ right to secure their communities. In 2022, Texas and Arizona began placing largeshipping containers along parts of the southern border in an attempt to fill gaps in the incomplete border wall. Following a Biden DOJ lawsuit, Arizona removed these containers, but Texas has maintained its shipping containers along the border.

Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution provides for the protection of states “against invasion,” and Article I, Section 10 reserves the right of states to defend themselves. However, under current federal law, states may not place structures on federal land without first obtaining authorization from the federal government. 

Specifically, the CONTAINER Act:

  • Authorizes border states to temporarily place movable, temporary structures on federal land for the purpose of securing the border without first seeking federal approval; and
  • Allows states to keep these structures on federal land for up to a year, subject to 90-day extensions that can be approved by the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior.

Click here for bill text.