Requests to release Prince Harry’s visa file have been denied by U.S. authorities, amid speculation surrounding possible dishonesty about his past drug use.
Last week, the Heritage Foundation’s legal team brought the issue to court, aiming to compel the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to expedite their Freedom of Information Act inquiry concerning the Duke of Sussex.
An injunction was denied by Judge Carl Nichols, who instead encouraged the U.S. government to provide the conservative organization with a definite response by Tuesday, June 13.
However, on the following day, Samuel Dewey, the lead attorney for the organization, shared a letter from Jimmy Wolfrey, DHS senior director, who neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the Duke’s documents.
Mr Wolfrey wrote, “To the extent records exist, this office does not find a public interest in disclosure sufficient to override the subject’s privacy interests.”
The question of making Harry’s visa application public was not addressed in the hearing held in Washington D.C. last week.
As a result, the conservative organization must now pursue additional legal avenues to persuade the DHS to disclose the files.
The Heritage Foundation’s Nile Gardiner expressed displeasure about the decision in a statement posted online.
Mr Gardiner critiqued, “This argument makes no sense, but is not surprising coming from the zero transparency Biden Administration.”
“The Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to stonewall the Heritage Foundation’s Freedom of Information request are unacceptable, and we will be contesting their position,” added the former senior aide to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The Heritage Foundation aims to uncover how the 38-year-old British royal addressed questions about his history of drug use.
This inquiry followed Prince Harry’s admission in his recent memoir ‘Spare’ about the consumption of various illegal substances.
As per U.S. law, acknowledging drug use can lead to the rejection of a visa application.
Ever since stepping away from the British Royal Family in 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have become public figures in the U.S.
The Duke and Duchess were last seen together in the UK at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September, a few months before ‘Spare’ was published.
The Heritage Foundation suggests that the information in Harry’s visa application could potentially cause problems for his future life in the United States.
An admission of drug use does not automatically result in a lifetime ban from the United States.
Denials of entry can be reconsidered after an in-person interview at a U.S. consulate or official immigration office, where a waiver may be issued.
Historically, immigration documents about public figures have been released.
The electronic reading room on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website hosts files of certain celebrities.
Files of deceased musicians George Michael and John Lennon, as well as the mother of U.S. vice-president Kamala Harris, are accessible online.
Since moving to the U.S. in 2020, Harry has developed relationships with influential Democratic Party figures such as former president Barack Obama.
His close ties with key Democratic donors like Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry have raised concerns that he may unknowingly become an “unwitting pawn in a highly political game.”