The Jewish Daily Forward, the same news outlet that broke the story that Rep. George Santos (R-NY) lied about his heritage, has now seemingly confirmed another suspected Santos fib — that his mother was in the vicinity of World Trade Center on 9/11 and survived the attack.
The Forward got access to 90-plus pages of the congressman’s mother’s immigration documents. The records span from 1988 to 2012, and encompass all immigration-related paperwork that Fatima A.C.H. Devolder submitted during those two decades. The docs were given to the Forward by a researcher who got the records after filling out a Freedom of Information Act request.
The paperwork reveals that Santos’ mother was not only not in or around the World Trade Center on New York on 9/11, she wasn’t even in the country. It’s one of the more bizarre lies that Santos has dug his heels in on in the last several weeks, even as more and more reporting reveals one unhinged, fake story after another — and even as the lawmaker outright admits that he “embellished” parts of his resume.
Santos has claimed that his mother was in her office in the South Tower on 9/11 and that she died in 2016 due to exposure to an “ash cloud” during the attack. “She survived the tragic events on September 11th, but she passed away a few years later when she lost her battle to cancer,” his campaign website still states.
But per the Forward’s review of the documents, she did not work in finance, or in the Twin Towers. The records show she worked in agriculture in Florida before moving to New York and working as a housekeeper.
Per the Forward, she was living in Brazil during the date in question:
Three months before the attacks, Devolder filed a request with the U.S. Consulate in Rio for a replacement green card, saying hers had been stolen after she returned to Brazil in June 1999. The situation was apparently not resolved, and another application was filed in early 2003. At that point, she stated that she had not been in the United States since 1999.
None of this is surprising. The Forward’s review of the documents also confirm previous reporting on Santos’ family history — lies that Santos maintains:
The 2003 application, filled out by hand by Devolder, lists her father, Paulo Devolder Horta, as having been born in Rio in 1918, and her mother, Rosalina Horta Devolder, as having been born in Rio in 1927. This echoes genealogical records unearthed by the Forward in December, and directly contradicts what Santos himself continues to claim — that his grandparents fled the Nazis for Brazil in 1940.
The Best Of TPM Today
Here’s what you should read this evening:
Yesterday’s Most Read Story
The George Santos Revelations Just Keep Coming — David Kurtz
What We Are Reading
Why George Santos Won’t Be Able to Fake His Way Through Congress — Former Rep. Peter King
DeSantis pushes to permanently ban Covid-19 mandates in Florida — Steve Contorno, Kit Maher and Chris Boyette