Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Olson Votes to Keep America Safe

November 19, 2015
Press Release

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) today acted to strengthen American national-security by implementing a pause in our nation’s refugee program to ensure the safety and security of Americans. Olson voted for H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act, which places a moratorium on admitting Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the United States until our country’s top security officials can thoroughly vet each individual refugee to ensure he or she does not pose a threat to the United States. The House passed H.R. 4038 by a bipartisan vote of 289 - 137.

“While America is a compassionate nation, we must carefully balance our desire to help those in need with the security of American citizens,” Rep. Olson said. “The devastating terrorist attacks in France are further proof that we must halt any refugee action until our country determines that each refugee seeking admission does not pose a threat to the safety of Americans. We have a sacred duty to protect the homeland and today’s vote honors this commitment. I urge the Senate to act quickly as well and get this bill to the president’s desk as soon as possible.”

H.R. 4038, the American SAFE Act pauses admission of refugees from Iraq and Syria, requires an extensive background check for every refugee, and a certification that each is not a threat to the security of the United States.

  • H.R. 4038 pauses the admission of refugees.
  • Requires the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to ensure that each thorough background investigation can determine that a refugee is not a security threat to the United States. 
  • A refugee will not be admitted if FBI cannot certify the background investigation was sufficient.
  • The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) must unanimously certify to Congress that a refugee is not a security threat.
  • No refugees will be admitted unless Congress receives the certification that the refugee is not a threat to the security of the United States.
  • DHS must submit a monthly report to Congress on the number of refugees certified and not certified.
  • Requires the Inspector General of DHS to conduct a risk based review of all certifications.



Media Contact: Melissa Kelly