The US government will appear in court next week to answer questions about Prince Harry’s visa application after a conservative think tank demanded that they unseal it, given his admitted drug use.
The Department of Homeland Security will face off on June 6 against the Heritage Foundation, which filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit earlier this month to compel the agency to release the Duke of Sussex’s immigration records, arguing that they are of “immense public interest.”
So far, the US government has refused to make the 38-year-old royal’s visa application public.
Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, tweeted Tuesday that the hearing will be in DC federal court and open to the press.
Gardiner touted the upcoming hearing – likely the first of many to come – as a “very significant development”.
“It significantly raises the stakes here,” he told The Telegraph. “I think that so far the Biden administration has been stonewalling the freedom.”
Any foreign national seeking to obtain a US visa or a permanent resident status is required to answer questions about their past drug use.
Under US immigration law, a visa applicant who is “determined to be a drug abuser” is deemed “inadmissible” — although immigration officials are permitted to make exceptions.
In his bestselling tell-all memoir “Spare,” as well as in multiple TV interviews promoting the book, Prince Harry came clean about using cocaine, marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms.
“Widespread and continuous media coverage has surfaced the question of whether DHS properly admitted the Duke of Sussex in light of the fact that he has publicly admitted to the essential elements of a number of drug offenses in both the United States and abroad,” the Heritage Foundation’s complaint reads.
The think tank also questioned whether the Duke of Sussex’s immigration status in the US should be “reconsidered” in light of the revelations contained in his book.
Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, moved to the US in March 2020 and bought a home in Southern California after stepping back from being working members of the British royal family.
Sources close to Harry have previously said that he answered questions on his application seeking a US visa truthfully.
The Heritage Foundation argued that it is in the public interest to know exactly what Prince Harry wrote in his application — and how it was then handled by the Biden administration.
“Did DHS in fact look the other way, play favorites, or fail to appropriately respond to any potential false statements by Prince Harry?” the think tank said in a statement Tuesday.
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