A few weeks ago, the Mail embraced a new line of attack against Prince Harry: his immigration status in America. To be fair, the British media (particularly the Mail) has been obsessed with the idea that they can somehow get America to deport Harry on a technicality, like the man isn’t white, Christian, rich and married to an American citizen. Harry can afford the best immigration lawyers in California, and I strongly suspect that he’s already years into his American naturalization process. But, the Mail’s latest thing is that Harry wrote about using drugs in Spare, therefore he can and should be deported as a “drug abuser.” The Mail has convinced the Heritage Foundation, an ultra-right-wing American thinktank, to back up their delusions. The Heritage Foundation has now filed a Freedom of Information Act request to get their hands on Harry’s visa application. Like… that’s not the way it works, correct? You can’t just FOIA your way into getting your hands on a random person’s visa application.
Prince Harry has been urged to be ‘totally transparent’ and release details of his US visa application or risk becoming a ‘political pawn’ over his past drug use. US immigration authorities have until April 12 to respond to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request filed by a leading American think-tank which is seeking to determine how the Duke of Sussex was allowed to enter the States after openly admitting using a variety of substances in the past, including marijuana, cocaine and magic mushrooms.
The issue of immigration is expected to become one of the main focuses of the 2024 presidential election, with Republicans attacking President Joe Biden for his lax border controls. And there are fears that Harry’s friendships with prominent Democratic Party figures such as former president Barack Obama and major Democratic donors including Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry could see him become an ‘unwitting pawn in a highly political game’.
Last night, in an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, senior lawyer Samuel Dewey at conservative think-tank the Heritage Foundation, which has filed a 127-page FoI request to see the Duke’s application, said: ‘It is in the public interest to know how Prince Harry answered the drug question. If he has been honest and open about his drug use, and there is no reason to believe he has not been, it could well be that he ticked the “yes” box, in which case he would need a waiver to be granted a visa to be admitted into the States. That means he would have had to be interviewed in person and someone would have had to grant him a waiver. We are simply asking who granted that waiver.’
Mr Dewey added: ‘An admission of drug use doesn’t automatically ban you for ever. There is a waiver process and a lot of people get a waiver on a case-by-case basis. If Prince Harry was given a waiver, who authorised it? Was the correct protocol followed? It’s something the American people deserve to know…There is no suggestion Prince Harry did anything wrong and, if he was granted a waiver, he may not be aware of any political strings that may have been pulled, if indeed they were. But there is a danger he could become an unwitting pawn in an issue which has become a political hot potato.’
Reports in the US have suggested Harry was admitted on an ‘O’ visa – given to people of extraordinary ability.
The question on the visa application is about “drug abusers” and “drug addicts.” Not to parse, but they’re trying to get Harry on a technicality, so let’s be technical about it: he’s not a drug abuser, nor is he a drug addict. He has used drugs recreationally in the past, which he wrote about in his bestselling memoir. He has never been arrested on a drug charge. He would not need a waiver, and even if he did, it would still be none of the Heritage Foundation’s f–king business, nor is Harry’s visa application in the public’s interest. If the “immigrants are coming to get you and eat your brains” crowd believes that making Prince Harry some kind of poster boy for their racist public policy, they are going to be shocked by how many conservative Americans think Harry is “the good kind” of immigrant.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.