Why Prince Harry is at risk of being deported from US over visa issues | Explained
Prince Harry’s US visa is at risk now because of his memoir Spare in which the Duke of Sussex admitted to using recreational drugs before he left the UK after stepping down from the royal duties and shifted to the United States.
According to reports, a conservative think tank is calling for Prince Harry’s US visa application to be released so Americans can see whether or not he admitted to his past drug use before moving to California in the summer of 2020. Now the question is what will happen to Meghan Markle if Harry gets deported from USA over visa issues? Will Harry go back to Britain? Will Meghan continue to live in US? Lets wait and watch.
The Heritage Foundation, one of the country’s preeminent right-wing think tanks, is arguing that US officials should release the details of the prince’s application so Americans can see whether or not he was properly vetted before being allowed to enter the country. Applicants for US visas are typically asked about their criminal history and drug use.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, wrote that he smoked marijuana while he and his family were staying at US actor Tyler Perry’s house in Los Angeles in 2020, after they left Canada. In the memoir he wrote: “Late at night, with everyone asleep, I would walk the house, checking the doors and windows. Then I would sit on the balcony or the edge of the garden and roll a joint.”
In his memoir, Spare, Harry also reflects on sharing a ‘spliff’ with friends in his Eton days in a tiny washroom. He writes in the memoir, “I knew this was bad behaviour. I knew it was wrong. My mates knew too. We talked about it often, while stoned, how stupid we were to be wasting an Eton education.”
“This request is in the public interest in light of the potential revocation of Prince Harry’s visa for illicit substance use and further questions regarding the Prince’s drug use and whether he was properly vetted before entering the United States,” Mike Howell, director of the foundation’s Oversight Project, told the Daily Mail.
The foundation’s push for information on Harry’s visa application comes after the Prince revealed his use of a range of substances including marijuana, mushrooms, and cocaine during his promotion of his new book Spare.
Harry writes in the book that he first took cocaine at the age of 17 and used it sparingly since then but has said that his use of marijuana and mushrooms helped him deal with past trauma. The recreational use of marijuana is legal in California, while the state has also taken steps towards decriminalising the use of psychedelics like mushrooms. Oregon, just to the north, legalised the use of small amounts of hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2020.
Harry also confessed to taking cocaine, ketamine and magic mushrooms, and described how he hallucinated that a bin was talking to him. He felt that the use of psychedelic drugs helped him deal with the grief and trauma he felt after the death of his mother, Lady Diana. He said using psychedelics when he got older ‘cleared away the idea’ that he needed be sad to prove he ‘missed’ his mother. During an interview to promote his book, Harry told Dr Gabor Maté in an interview that his use of the psychedelic drug ayahuasca “brought me a sense of relaxation, release, comfort, a lightness that I managed to hold on to for a period of time” and were a “fundamental part” of his life.
In the memoir Spare, the Duke of Sussex also describes being dragged into the office of an unnamed member of the Royal Household staff during his grandmother the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 after a journalist asked the Palace about his drug-taking habits.
He revealed that he was offered a line of cocaine during a hunting weekend. Admitting that he lied to the Royal Household staff during his interrogation, Harry mentioned that taking cocaine wasn’t much fun and he did it partly to be different and because he was a seventeen-year-old willing to try almost anything that would upset the established order.
He wrote: ‘It wasn’t much fun, and it didn’t make me feel particularly happy the way the others seemed to, but it did make me feel different, and that was my main goal. To feel. To be different.’
Nevertheless, if Harry failed to disclose his past drug use on his visa application, he could be barred from applying for US citizenship and even deported from the country where he has lived for nearly three full years. Meghan Markle, Harry’s wife, is an American citizen who was born in the Los Angeles area. Their two children were both born in the US as well.
The federal government making the details of Harry’s visa application public would be highly unusual — visa applications are confidential under the terms of the Immigration and Nationality Act — but Harry’s past drug use could also theoretically affect future visa applications.
It is not currently clear what kind of US visa Harry holds, though the Daily Mail reported that he is believed to hold either a spousal visa or an O-1 visa granted to people possessing an “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics” or a record of extraordinary achievement in film or television.
O-1 visas are initially granted for three years, meaning that if Harry has that type of visa, he may have to re-apply this year with elements of his past drug use now public.
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