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Is George Santos a US Citizen?

George Santos
Credit: George Santos for Congress Facebook Page
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December 24, 2022 1:09 p.m.

This isn’t the kind of question I’d normally imagine myself asking. I’m not a “let’s see the birth certificate” kind of guy. But given the mounting evidence that the Rep.-elect George Santos is a perfidious and pathological lying weasel, I think we need to ask.

And I’m not asking just because …. Here’s the specific reason this comes up.

Santos says that he was born in 1988 in Queens to immigrant parents from Brazil. But one of the flood of articles about Santos’s fake biography raises some question about this. The Port Washington Patch published an article by Jacqueline Sweet about Santos’s stint as a call center operator during the time he was purportedly rising through the ranks at Citibank. This was in 2011 and 2012. A coworker named Barbara Hurdas told Sweet, “He used to tell us he was born in Brazil and that he would travel back and forth and that he came from money.”

It is entirely possible that Hurdas is misremembering conversations of a decade ago. It’s also possible that Santos was simply lying. It is also possible that, contrary to his claims of U.S. birth, Santos was born in Brazil but later became a naturalized citizen. But it’s one or the other. If Santos was born in Brazil, he had to become naturalized at some point in order to be eligible to serve in Congress. The records shouldn’t be obscure. There’s either a birth certificate or a record of naturalization. No need for a truth movement or conspiracy theories. It’s very simple to clarify one way or another.

Of course, there’s an additional possibility that Santos was born abroad and is a permanent resident. But then he still wouldn’t be eligible to serve in Congress. Again, it’s simple to check.

My assumption is that Santos is a citizen. But based on my reading of the available reporting there’s no actual evidence that Santos was born in Queens or anywhere in the United States, other than Santos’s say-so, which is obviously worth less than nothing. And there’s at least some evidence — Ms. Hurdas’s recollection — that he told others he was born in Brazil.

He’s supposed to be sworn in as a member of Congress in a week. So clarifying whether he’s a citizen is actually pretty significant, much more than a phony resume and even possible crimes tied to false financial disclosures.

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