US Homeland Security Defends Privacy of Prince Harry's Visa Amid Drug Use Claims
Prince Harry's visa application and his past drug use have become the center of a legal dispute. Lawyers for the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have stated that the prince's visa details related to his historical drug use should be classified as "private personal information".
The controversy was sparked by Prince Harry's memoir, Spare, in which he openly admitted to using cocaine, marijuana, and psychedelic mushrooms. This admission led a conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC, to question why he was granted entry into the US in 2020.
The Heritage Foundation has since filed a lawsuit against the DHS after their Freedom of Information request was denied. The group argues that the prince's visa application is of “immense public interest”.
The DHS, however, disagrees. Their lawyers argue that the Heritage Foundation “have not demonstrated possible government misconduct or any other public interest that would override Harry’s privacy interest in these records”. They further stated that although Prince Harry was a “public official” in the UK, he does not hold the same status in the United States.
According to the DHS's court submissions, they have “provided the maximum amount of information that it can provide regarding the records it possesses” without compromising Harry’s immigration status.
The Heritage Foundation’s lawsuit claims that US law “generally renders such a person inadmissible for entry” to the country. The DHS responded that a person’s immigration information, like health, financial, or employment information, is private personal information.
The DHS concluded that any suggestion of government wrongdoing by the Heritage Foundation is “purely speculative”.