Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde December 5, 2016

Fake news alert: Claim that famed Latina Trump supporter has been deported is wrong

Donald Trump alienated a share of immigrant voters during his presidential campaign after making controversial remarks about Mexicans, but that didn’t deter a Hispanic woman from eagerly showing her support for him during a campaign rally.

"I am Hispanic and I vote for Mr. Trump! We vote for Mr. Trump! Yes, Mr. Trump! We love you, we love you all the way to the White House!" Myriam Witcher said enthusiastically into a microphone, flailing her arms up in the air while gripping an American flag and a People magazine with Trump on the cover.

Witcher, an immigrant from Colombia, garnered attention for her lavish praises during the October 2015 rally in Las Vegas, particularly because Trump had presented a hard-line immigration stance, including talk of mass deportation.

Soon after her on-stage appearance, rumors spread that Witcher had been deported. A PolitiFact Texas reader recently emailed us saying reports of her deportation were being shared widely, including on Facebook.

We wondered, where’s Witcher?

Still on U.S. soil, Witcher told PolitiFact.

Rumors of her deportation started last year despite being a naturalized U.S. citizen, Witcher said via a phone interview. Though she lives in Las Vegas, Witcher on Nov. 30 said she was in New York.

According to the rumors, "up to this day, I’m still deported," Witcher said. "I don’t waste my time with that."

Satirical post and other sites

On Oct. 9, 2015, the day after Witcher appeared next to Trump, a Spanish-language satirical website based in Colombia posted an article headlined, "They deport Colombian who declared her love to Trump."

Actualidad Panamericana’s 257-word satirical post said Witcher’s return to Colombia was expected after a quick deportation order from immigration authorities. The piece said Witcher’s immigration papers showed "serious inconsistencies" and that her real name was "Miriam Encanto" -- a spelling variation of her first name and a word for her last name that in English means "charm."

The post says that Witcher was picked up by immigration authorities while having dinner with Trump, and that enforcement officials showed up after receiving a call from a "patriot with a toupee."

An Actualidad Panamericana editor said they believe rumors of Witcher’s deportation surged from their post. On its website, Actualidad Panamericana says its goal is to entertain and that all its content is fiction and does not correspond with reality.

Talks of Witcher’s deportation are also posted on another Spanish-language website, Coyotitos.com, a site that lacks information detailing who’s behind it and the mission.

The article on Witcher and other posts don’t have publication dates or bylines indicating who wrote them. Their Facebook page says they are a media/news company, but they did not return a message requesting more information.

Featured Fact-check

Coyotitos’ post about Witcher is headlined, "Hispanic woman who supported Donald Trump has been deported by the Department of Migration." (There is no such department.) The article says different media outlets have started to report what happened to Witcher, "who has been deported for not having legal ‘immigration status.’" The post warns the information has not been officially confirmed despite being widespread and that it should be taken with caution.

Media interviews

Anthony Avellaneda, a journalist for El Tiempo, a Hispanic publication of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, said he has occasionally interviewed Witcher. He quoted her in an article posted Sept. 9, 2016.

"She’s still here in Las Vegas. She has not been deported," Avellaneda said, adding that news of her removal stemmed from satirical posts.

Witcher also was featured in a video published Nov. 1 by a German publication, Spiegel Online. Witcher appears standing outside the Trump International hotel in Las Vegas and reaffirms her admiration for Trump. Witcher says she’s a citizen and sports a Trump campaign pin on her blazer as well as a "Vote Early Today" sticker.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has an online search page to locate detainees who are in custody or who have been released within the last 60 days. There’s no result for Myriam Witcher. (We checked the database for other variations of her name, too.)

An Oct. 9, 2015, article by the Las Vegas Sun about Witcher’s encounter with Trump reported that Witcher said she "had to wait five years to earn legal status in the U.S."

Witcher published a book in May about Trump that includes information about her immigration status.

"After immigrating to the United States and becoming a U.S. citizen, she has developed a deep appreciation for our country, and believes with all her heart that Mr. Trump will put America first and make our country great again. She is married to a native U.S. citizen from Texas, who is a veteran of the U.S. Navy submarine service," reads Witcher’s book author description.

Witcher campaigned for Trump, posting dozens of videos on her YouTube channel recapping his immigration plan and encouraging viewers to vote for him.

Gail J. Anderson, a deputy secretary within the Nevada Secretary of State office, said a Myriam Witcher born in 1960 and a registered voter in Clark County voted in this year’s general election.

Our ruling

News has spread on social media saying Myriam Witcher, a Trump supporter who made headlines for effusively showing her admiration for him during a rally, has been deported.

In a phone interview, Witcher said she’s a U.S. citizen who has not been deported and is still a Trump supporter.

In 2015, a Colombian website wrote a satirical piece a day after Witcher appeared with Trump on TV. The post said Witcher had been ordered deported and would be returning to Colombia within days.

Journalists have interviewed Witcher on U.S. soil in the past few months. An online search tool for immigration detainees shows no result for Witcher.

We rate reports of Witcher’s deportation as Pants on Fire!

Our Sources

Phone interview, Myriam Witcher, Nov. 30, 2016

YouTube channel, Myriam Witcher

CBSN, Latina supporter: "Trump, we love you!", Oct. 8, 2015

CNN, Hispanic Trump fan: Donald is an angel sent from Heaven, Oct. 9, 2015

CNN, Trump's immigration plan: Deport the undocumented, 'legal status' for some, July 30, 2015

Hoy Los Angeles, ¿Ya deportaron a la colombiana que se dijo enamorada de Donald J. Trump?, Oct. 15, 2015

Actualidad Panamericana, Deportan a colombiana que le declaró su amor a Trump, Oct. 9, 2015

Coyotitos.com, La hispana que apoyó a Donald Trump ha sido deportada por el Departamento de Migración

El Tiempo, Opiniones divididas sobre la propuesta migratoria de Donald Trump, Sept. 9, 2016

Las Vegas Sun, Trump walks difficult line on Latino voters in Nevada, Oct. 9, 2015

Spiegel Online, Das krude Universum eines Trump-Fans, Verrückt nach Donald, Nov. 1, 2016

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, online detainee locator system

Twitter exchange, Anthony Avellaneda, a journalist for the newspaper El Tiempo, Dec. 1, 2016

Amazon, Donald Trump America First and Great Again Paperback – May 20, 2016

Email interview, Gail J. Anderson, a deputy secretary within the Nevada Secretary of State office, Dec. 2, 2016

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Fake news alert: Claim that famed Latina Trump supporter has been deported is wrong

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