NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) -- Immigration records contradict claims by U.S. Rep. George Santos that his mother was at the World Trade Center on 9/11. In fact they show she wasn’t even in New York or the U.S.
Santos made the claim while campaigning, and his website reads, “George’s mother was in her office in the South Tower on Sept. 11, 2001, when the horrific events of that day unfolded.”
However, immigration records obtained by the New York Times and other outlets show his mother, Fatima Devolder, was outside the U.S. in September 2001.
According to the records, Devolder applied for a visa to enter the U.S. in 2003. On the application, she indicated she left the U.S. for Brazil in 1999 and hadn’t returned since then.
Devolder died of cancer in 2016. Santos has suggested that 9/11 played a role in her death.
Santos, 34, has not responded to the latest report. The Republican congressman has so far pushed back against calls for his resignation.
Meanwhile the press secretary for the White House says Santos’ resignation is up to the Republican conference to show what they think they owe to the American people.
Asked by reporters Wednesday whether President Joe Biden thinks Santos should resign, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that it’s “up to the Republican conference to show what they think they owe the American people.”
Santos, who represents parts of Nassau County and Queens, is facing multiple investigations by prosecutors over his personal and campaign finances and lies about his resume and family heritage.
There have been calls for his resignation from both Democrats and Republicans, but House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has backed him, even assigning him to two House committees this week.
Initially, the victory by Santos, the only openly gay Republican in Congress, was seen as a bright spot for the party in an otherwise underwhelming midterm election. But as reports began to emerge that Santos had lied about having Jewish ancestry, a career at top Wall Street firms and a college degree, he turned into a distraction for the party as it took control of the House.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.