US Sued Over Prince Harry's Visa

Heritage Foundation raises questions of special treatment given his admitted drug use
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2023 8:56 AM CDT
US Government Challenged Over Prince Harry's Visa
Britain's Prince Harry arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice in London, Thursday, March 30, 2023.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

A conservative think tank is suing the US government, saying its granting of a visa to Prince Harry reeks of special treatment. The Heritage Foundation requested the release of the Duke of Sussex's immigration records in March, arguing the granting of the visa despite the prince's admission to using drugs including marijuana, magic mushrooms, and cocaine raises questions about government integrity. As the Telegraph notes, "admissions of drug use are grounds for inadmissibility in visa applications." The Justice Department refused the foundation's demand, saying the prince hadn't given his consent and Heritage had not met grounds for fast-tracking the release process, per CNN.

Viewing that explanation as "outrageous," the Heritage Foundation asked a federal judge to overturn the decision. Under Freedom of Information laws, "applications can be fast-tracked if there is 'widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government’s integrity which affect public confidence,'" per the Telegraph. It cites sources as saying Prince Harry was truthful about his drug use on his visa application, meaning the government may have looked the other way. However, a visa may be granted to an applicant whose "drug abuse or addiction is in remission."

The Heritage Foundation is curious to know if Harry was granted a waiver. It will make the case that Harry's immigration records should be unsealed before the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday, per CNN. "The Biden administration is clearly stonewalling here and they are trying to avoid releasing any documents," argues Nile Gardiner, director of the Heritage Foundation's Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, per the Telegraph. Harry has spoken more openly about his drug use in the years since he arrived in the US in 2020. As "people who emigrate to the US are usually given a three-year visa," per the Telegraph, Harry will likely need to renew his at some point this year. (More Prince Harry stories.)

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