Prince Harry's Court Battle Over Visa Drug Confessions

Prince Harry embroiled in US visa controversy saga.

by David Coppini
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Prince Harry's Court Battle Over Visa Drug Confessions
© James Manning- WPA Pool/Getty Images

A momentous decision on whether Prince Harry's immigration records should be kept confidential will be weighed by a US court this week. The hearing in Washington DC, set for Friday, could have an impact on the final decision in case the Duke of Sussex goes for American citizenship.

Fundamentally, the issue arises from a US think-tank's request to force the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to release details of Harry's immigration. The move is expected to clarify whether or not the Duke acknowledged his past drug use when he entered the United States in 2020.

United States visa applicants have to answer an explicit question regarding past drug abuse or addiction. Prince Harry has laid bare his experience using drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and magic mushrooms in his autobiography "Spare." Nile Gardiner, the director of the Margaret Thatcher Centre For Freedom at The Heritage Foundation, spoke to the BBC on the same day the judgment was handed down, calling the judge the "lynchpin" in the case.

Gardiner said, "The American public deserves to know if Prince Harry received preferential treatment from the DHS, and it's time he stops relying on his connections within the Biden administration's liberal elite."

Harry's Citizenship Dilemma

At least, it was an issue he was contemplating: Prince Harry mentioned in a recent appearance on ABC's Good Morning America that the matter of US citizenship was, although not a priority.

Any deception on his visa application would be a big issue, though, that—according to an LA-based immigration lawyer—could conceivably result in a review or even the revocation of his current stay. It would be a major impediment to his any future plans of citizenship.

Samuel Dewey, an attorney with the Heritage Foundation, said it is within the bounds of possibility that Prince Harry confessed to drug use which would require a special waiver in order to be granted a visa. The question from the think-tank is who signed off on such a waiver if indeed it exists.

Arguing that the records should not be opened to the public, the DHS says that the lack of privacy of Prince Harry would otherwise serve an intrusion of private rights. According to the DHS's legal representative, the visa status and immigration status are generally considered to be a personal factor and not a public feature.

The judge presiding over the case, Carl J. Nichols, will give his ruling in writing in the next few weeks. The ruling is expected to have far-reaching consequences for the ambitions of Prince Harry and his right to privacy in the United States.

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