Prince Harry facing 'lose-lose' situation in US after new development in visa legal battle

Prince Harry facing 'lose-lose' situation in US after new development in visa legal battle

WATCH NOW: Prince Harry facing 'lose-lose' situation in US after new development in visa legal battle

GB News
Dorothy Reddin

By Dorothy Reddin

Published: 30/05/2024

- 17:22

Updated: 31/05/2024

- 09:19

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex settled in the US in 2020 after stepping back as working royals

Prince Harry is facing a "lose-lose" situation in the US after a new development in his visa legal battle, according to GB News' Digital Royal Editor.

The Duke of Sussex is currently involved in a US court case, where The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, wants the royal's visa documents to be made public after he admitted to taking recreational drugs in his memoir Spare.

GB News' Digital Royal Editor Svar Nanan-Sen and Royal Correspondent Cameron Walker sat down for the second episode of the new podcast, The Royal Record, where they discussed Harry's legal battle in the US.

Cameron said: "Prince Harry and Meghan stood back as working members of the Royal Family. In March 2020, they moved to the United States via Canada. Prince Harry would have applied for a visa to enter the United States and live there.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry settled in the US in 2020 after stepping back as a working royal


"In his memoir Spare, he admitted to taking marijuana, cocaine and psychedelic mushrooms. Under US immigration law, you cannot lie on your immigration record to say you have not done illegal substances.

"If you have done so, because that is under law, grounds for deportation. It is not necessarily grounds for deportation if you do publicly disclose that on the forms.

"What The Heritage Foundation in Washington DC wants to know is, A. Did Harry lie on his immigration form, and therefore, what are the consequences for Harry.

"Or B. He told the truth on the immigration form and the US Department of Homeland Security, in other words, the Biden administration, granted him a visa anyway, in which case, on what grounds did they grant that visa, and did they give Harry special treatment. So that's the crux of the case."

Cameron Walker, Svar Nanan-Sen and Graham SmithCameron Walker and Svar Nanan-Sen discuss the latest royal developments on a new GB News podcast GB News

Svar added: "I think if the documents are released, it's a lose-lose situation for Prince Harry. As you've said, he's either lied on his documents and the penalty could be really harsh for that, including being deported. Or, he admitted to taking drugs on his documents, in which case it raises questions about whether he received special treatment as a member of the Royal Family.

"The US ambassador for the UK has vowed that he will not be deported under the Biden administration. It's a really uncomfortable situation for Harry.

"We have seen celebrities in the past denied entry to the US following an admission of drug use. We [GB News] did an exclusive [interview] with Donald Trump last year where he said that Harry wouldn't receive as much favourable treatment from him if he was the US president as the Biden administration has given him. So Harry could be in hot water."

Cameron replied: "I think the problem now is this is going to turn political because, as you say, Jane Hartley, the US ambassador to the UK, has said he's never going to be deported come what may under the Biden administration.

Graham SmithGraham Smith is the CEO of the anti-monarchy group RepublicGB News

"Trump said appropriate action will be taken. But the question for a future President Trump, if it happens post-November 4 and he becomes president in January, it may not. But if it does, what does appropriate action mean? Does that mean he's going to deport Prince Harry?

"Is he really going to break up a young family when Harry has two young children and a wife living in California with him and force him to go back to the United Kingdom, what does that do for diplomatic relations? Because Prince Harry is still fifth in line to the throne.

"He's still the King's son. So in terms of the US-UK soft relationship, I'm not sure how well that's going to go down. Or is it simply going to be a slap on the wrist? The point is we simply do not know. But it is creating a lot of this distraction.

"And I think it's going to be really interesting to see how this case plays out, whether the court rules that Prince Harry's visa documents can remain secret, in which case, I suspect it's all going to be swept under the carpet, whatever happens on that visa application.


Prince HarryPrince Harry admitted to experimenting with drugs in his memoir Spare


"But the Pandora's box could very much be opened if the court orders the US government to make Prince Harry's visa documents public."

Svar continued: "A report that I saw earlier this month that really interested me was an immigration lawyer said there was a possibility that Harry received a rare US visa that may have resulted in a lower security check.

"So there is something called the A1 head of state visa, which is different from the A1 visa which is for senior diplomats. An A1 head-of-state visa holder is free to come to the US without working as a member of the Royal Family or holding the position of head-of-state, and the immigration lawyer said regarding the A1 head-of-state visa, 'the security check is not the same. It's a lower security check and it's a visa, especially for members of the Royal Family.'

"For an A1 head-of-state visa, the security and background check questions are not the same as for most applicants. Crucially, they are only vetted for espionage, terrorism and activities that are contrary to US foreign policy, Prince Harry's drug use would not have been covered on his visa forms if he did receive an A1 head of state visa."

Cameron concluded: "Yes. The fact is we do not know what kind of visa Prince Harry has, there is a number it could have been, you just stated one of them. I also think there's an argument, that it's a little bit perhaps unfair that Prince Harry is getting so much scrutiny for this."

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