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Prince Harry wins legal battle as judge throws out request to release his US visa records

NewsPrince Harry wins legal battle as judge throws out request to release his US visa records

On Tuesday, the Duke of Sussex celebrated a victory as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rejected a request to release private information from his US visa application. The rejection came after conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation issued a request for the 38-year-old’s immigration documents after his previous claims of drug use came to light in his tell-all memoir. In Spare, which was released back in January, Harry revealed that he had previously experimented with various drugs, such as psychedelic mushrooms and cocaine, to cope with trauma at a younger age.

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Homeland Security rejected the demands via email, citing that it will “override the subject’s privacy interests”.

Under US law, foreigners who admit to taking drugs and wish to enter, or move to, the United States may face several challenges when doing so.

In the letter, which was obtained by the New York Post, DHS senior director Jimmy Wolfrey, said: “To the extent records exist, this office does not find a public interest in disclosure sufficient to override the subject’s privacy interests.”

The Heritage Foundation’s Nile Gardiner said that the decline of the document release was “unacceptable” and that the company would appeal the decision.

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He said: “The Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to stonewall the Heritage Foundation’s Freedom of Information request are unacceptable, and we will be contesting their position.”

Gardiner also added: “We expected to have to fight every step of this case in federal court and will continue to press for transparency and accountability for the American people.”

Mike Howell, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project, filed a Freedom of Information Act request to DHS – citing that this was to ensure that American laws are “being applied fairly”.

The Heritage Foundation also requested to check to see if Harry had admitted to any drug taking within the three years before Spare was released.

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The outcome is a major win for Harry, as there had been widespread speculation over the legitimacy of his US visa and whether he should be allowed to stay in the country.

Prince Harry stepped down from his royal duties in January 2020, and moved to the United States just a few weeks later.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex currently reside in California with their two children, Archie, 4, and Lilibet, 2.

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