Will Prince Harry’s drug experiments now cost a US visa?

Could Prince Harry lose his right to reside in the US? At the urging of a conservative think tank, officials from the US Department of Homeland Security are due to appear in court in Washington next week.

The officials are under pressure: Next Tuesday they are to answer questions about Harry’s visa certificate and explain how the Duke of Sussex received a residence permit despite his drug confessions.

In his best-selling memoir, Spare, Harry admitted to trying cannabis, cocaine and mushrooms. The 38-year-old also talked about his drug experiences in numerous TV interviews.

Border officials can make exceptions

US immigration regulations require both tourists and foreigners applying for residency to answer questions about drug abuse. Usually, the use of illegal drugs automatically leads to the rejection of an application – although border officials are theoretically free to make an exception.

Now the US media are speculating: Did Harry lie when he applied for his visa? This could legally lead to his residence permit being withdrawn again.

Or did the authorities ignore the laws for the Royal and deliberately looked the other way? This in turn could have consequences for officials.

Nile Gardiner, director at the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation, tweeted this week that the Washington federal court hearing was “of great public interest” – the press would be admitted. So far, the US Department of Homeland Security has refused to release Harry’s application details.

Prince Harry experimented with cocaine and marijuana

Gardiner rated the hearing next Tuesday – probably only the first of many others – as a “very important development”. A great deal is at stake, he emphasized to the British Telegraph and in this context criticized the previous attitude of the US government: “I think the Biden government has so far blocked freedom.”

Prince Harry admitted in his autobiography “Spare” and countless TV interviews that he had experimented with cocaine and marijuana before moving to Montecito – as well as using drug mushrooms for therapy in his new Californian homeland.

“Given that he has publicly admitted to drug violations in the United States and abroad, widespread media reports have raised questions about whether the US Department of Homeland Security lawfully let the Duke of Sussex into the country,” a lawsuit reads the Heritage Foundation. Her demand: In the course of justice, Harry’s residence permit must be revised.

Was Harry favored by US Homeland Security?

According to sources close to the prince, the Duke of Sussex answered all questions in his residence application honestly. However, according to the Heritage Foundation, the public has a right to know exactly what information Harry gave on the visa application.

The think tank also wants to know how the government handled Harry’s responses: “Did Homeland Security deliberately turn a blind eye and give him preferential treatment, or simply failed to respond to Prince Harry’s potentially dishonest responses?”

Reactions on social media vary. While some have called the Heritage Foundation’s lawsuit a “PR stunt” or “a complete waste of time,” many say no one should be above the law.

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“It makes me sad. A useless, rich, unemployed junkie stole my place in the immigration queue,” laments one user. “And others don’t get a visa because they come from poor countries,” other users are outraged.

Border officials could decide on his return to the US

According to legal experts, border police officers could actually refuse the prince to re-enter the United States in the future. In theory, an officer could question Harry about his confessions about drug use – and whether he lied on the visa application, lawyer Raymond Lahoud told the Daily Mail.

Should Harry encounter the wrong border official when returning from his planned trip to London next month, it would simply be up to him under what conditions the prince would be allowed to re-enter the United States.

“Every time he travels to the United States, he has to go through Customs and Border Protection. Any person who has a clear drug background and does not disclose it beforehand would then be turned away,” Lahoud told the daily.

“A border police officer has the right to an answer to any possible question. If Harry broke the drug law, that’s reason enough to turn him away – whether he was convicted or not.”

Hank Peter

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