Immigration records contradict Rep. George Santos’ (R-NY) claim that his mother was in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The revelation is the latest blow to the freshman congressman’s credibility after he admitted to lying about his career and personal life.
Documents show Santos’ mother, Fatima Devolder, stated in a visa application to enter the United States from Brazil in 2003 that she had not been in the United States since 1999, according to The Washington Post. The Forward noted that the records, first obtained by researcher Alex Calzareth via the Freedom of Information Act, indicate Devolder being in the Rio de Janeiro suburb of Niterói on September 11, 2001.
The congressman’s campaign website claims his mother was in the World Trade Center on the day when hijackers flew airplanes into the twin towers in Manhattan, killing 2,753 people.
“George’s mother was in her office in the South Tower on September 11, 2001, when the horrific events of that day unfolded,” the website says. “She survived the tragic events on September 11th, but she passed away a few years later when she lost her battle to cancer.”
Reports published last month showed how Santos tweeted contradictory statements about how his mother died. Devolder’s online obituary says she died on December 23, 2016, and Santos tweeted on that day in 2021 marking five years since losing her, according to the New York Post. But Santos sent a tweet just months earlier, on July 12, 2021, saying, “9/11 claimed my mothers [sic] life.”
Santos is facing all sorts of inquiries into aspects of his life, as well as calls to resign. Despite admitting to fabricating details about himself, Santos said last month he is “not a criminal” and insisted the controversy “will not deter me from having good legislative success.”
The House Republican Steering Committee on Tuesday picked Santos to have assignments on the Committee on Small Business and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.