Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., has said his mother was inside one of the World Trade Center towers when they were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, but immigration records indicate that Santos’s mother wasn’t in the United States on that day.

The congressman’s mother, Fatima Devolder, applied for a visa to enter the United States from her home country of Brazil in February 2003, and on that application she stated that she had not been in the United States since 1999.


Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y. sits in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan 3, in Washington. Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

But Santos’s campaign website tells a different story: “George’s mother was in her office in the South Tower on Sept. 11, 2001, when the horrific events of that day unfolded.”

The site goes on to say that “She survived the tragic events on September 11th, but she passed away a few years later when she lost her battle to cancer.”

The Washington Post previously reported that Santos’s mother died in December 2016, after which her son solicited donations to pay for her funeral.

The visa documents were obtained by Alex Calzareth, a certified public accountant with an interest in genealogy and research, through a Freedom of Information Act request. Calzareth shared the documents with The Post and other news outlets.


A spokesperson for Santos did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the discrepancy, which was first reported by the Forward.

Since Santos’s election to the House in November, reporting has refuted much of the personal and professional history the New York Republican presented to the public.

Santos admitted to lying about his education and work history, but questions remain about the source of his wealth, which he used to help fund his campaign. Earlier this month, a complaint was filed by a nonpartisan group to the Federal Election Commission about Santos’s campaign financing.

The Post also reported that Santos claimed the cousin of a Russian oligarch as a client.

Democrats and Republicans have called for Santos’s resignation. He has resisted those calls, as has House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who said Santos was legally elected and seated without objection. House Republicans assigned Santos to two House committees Tuesday.

Asked whether the White House thinks Santos should resign, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Wednesday that it “is up to the Republican conference to show what they think they owe the American people. It is their decision to make, on what it means, what they see as it relates to the terms of standards and service.”

Jean-Pierre added that it was clear the GOP has no plans to act, as the party has given Santos committee assignments.

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