Was Donald Trump’s Mother An Illegal Immigrant? Truth Behind Viral Meme Revealed

Days after President Donald Trump passed an executive order that effectively barred the entry of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries; there has been an upsurge in the number of protests – online and offline opposing his decision. While those opposed to President Trump’s policies have come up with several compelling counter-arguments, their narrative at times, also included things that might not be based on facts. One of the most widely shared memes during the height of the protests was an image of Donald Trump’s mother, Mary Anne Macleod Trump, with text claiming that she was an illegal immigrant who came to the U.S. in 1929.

Is there any truth behind the fact that President Trump’s mother was indeed an illegal immigrant? A recent article on Snopes, a website that covers urban legends, Internet rumors, and questionable e-mail forwards, attempted to address this mystery.

Let us see what they found out.

Before we start, let us show you the viral image that has been doing the rounds of the internet since the past few days.


According to Snopes, it was back in 1929 that Mary Anne MacLeod Trump, originally from Scotland, first arrived in the United States. She was just 18-years-old at the time. Apart from a single document that seems to show a slight discrepancy in MacLeod’s immigration status, all other evidence and documentation point towards the fact that she did not violate any laws that were prevalent at the time to complete her immigration process. Even the one document where there is a discrepancy, the mistake doesn’t seem to be intentional.

Mary Anne MacLeod was born on May 10, 1912, in the village of Tong located on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland. Her father, Malcolm was a fisherman while her mother Mary Smith was a housewife. More than a century after Mary Anne’s birth, the village of Tong remains the small fishing town it used to be and is still home to several of Donald Trump’s cousins.

While the circumstances that led to Mary Anne’s trip to the United States remains a mystery, what is known is that she first arrived in the United States on December 2, 1929. She would go back to Scotland shortly after that – only to come back for a longer stay again on 17 May 1929. Mary Anne MacLeod’s name is clearly listed on a passenger manifest from the ships in which she traveled to the U.S. It was not until 1933 that Trump’s mother decided to live in the U.S. In a passenger manifest from one of her trips to the UK, Anne had declared that she had no intention to live in the UK. In the box that asked her the “intended country of future residence” she simply wrote “foreign.” When she first emigrated to the U.S., Mary Anne Macleod, only had $50 in her possession and landed a job as a domestic servant.


After she arrived in the U.S., she would go on to meet Donald Trump’s father Frederick Christ Trump at a dance in the ’30s. A New Yorker article describes the life of Donald Trump’s mother from the 30s. It reads;

“In the thirties, MacLeod reportedly met Frederick Christ Trump at a dance, and the two fell in love, according to a 2005 profile of the Trump family in Real Estate Weekly, although it has been disputed whether she was living in the United States at the time or just visiting. Fred Trump was a builder, having started a construction business while he was still in high school. By the late twenties, he was selling single-family houses in Queens for $3,990 each. Fred Trump and Mary MacLeod married in 1936 and settled in Jamaica, Queens, at the time a haven for Western European immigrants.”

While she married Frederick Trump in 1936, it was not until 1942 that she would become a naturalized citizen of the United States. However, there is little evidence to support the claim that Donald Trump’s mother was an illegal immigrant. That said, there is no denying the fact that President Trump’s mother was indeed an immigrant.

MacLeod died in 2000 at the age of 88 – long before Donald Trump expressed his desire to become a politician. However, it is interesting to ponder as to what she would have thought about her son’s current policies which critics say are “unAmerican and “unconstitutional.”

Do you think Donald Trump’s mother, being an immigrant herself would have supported her son’s current policies?

[Featured Image by Geni | Wikimedia Commons | Resized | [CC BY-SA 3.0]