Trump Privacy Case Cited in Withholding Details of Prince Harry’s U.S. Immigration Status

 Trump Privacy Case Cited in Withholding Details of Prince Harry’s U.S. Immigration Status

(Getty Images)

Lawyers for the U.S. government have cited a privacy case involving Donald Trump as a basis for withholding details about Prince Harry’s immigration status. The Heritage Foundation, a Washington D.C. think tank, has sued the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), seeking information about the visa Harry used to enter the U.S. They aim to determine whether Harry received preferential treatment due to his admissions of drug use in his autobiography, Spare.

During a court hearing in Washington in February, the DHS referenced a Trump case to justify their refusal. John Bardo, a DHS lawyer, explained that the case involved a request for records of interactions between Trump and the FBI from before 2015 when Trump was a private citizen.

Bardo argued that the court had found Trump’s privacy interests outweighed the public interest. Given this precedent, he contended that if Trump, as a private citizen, had a privacy interest in such matters, Harry’s privacy interest should be even greater, considering he has never held a governmental position or appeared on a ballot in the U.S.

“There is a much greater public interest in an interaction with a would-be elected officer than there is a member of the royal family of a foreign country,” Bardo stated. Recent reports suggest Prince Harry might have entered the United States on a rare category of diplomatic visa.

Last month, London-based U.S. immigration lawyer Melissa Chavin speculated that Harry could be on an ‘A-1 Head of State’ visa, a designation used by heads of state and royal family members, as he is fifth in line to the throne.

“It’s just extremely special,” she told the Daily Mail. “And the security check is not the same. It’s a lower security check. It’s a visa, especially for members of royal families. For an A-1 Head of State visa, the security and background check questions are not the same as for most visa applicants. They are only vetted for espionage, terrorism, and activities contrary to U.S. foreign policy.”

The A-1 ‘Head of State’ visa is distinguishable from the A-1 visa, which is intended for senior diplomats. Holders of an A-1 visa, such as ambassadors, are expected to come to the U.S. to work in a diplomatic capacity. However, an A-1 ‘Head of State’ visa allows the holder to enter the U.S. without necessarily working as a head of state or royal family member.

As per U.S. visa policy, applicants are questioned about past substance use, which Harry candidly admitted to in his memoir. According to The Independent, he wrote, “Psychedelics did me some good as well. I’d experimented with them over the years, for fun, but now I’d begun to use them therapeutically, medicinally. They didn’t simply allow me to escape reality for a while.”

Harry has been residing in the U.S. since 2020, living in a nine-bedroom mansion in Montecito, California, with his wife Meghan Markle and their two children. In March, Trump hinted at the possibility of Harry being deported under his leadership. Speaking with TV presenter Nigel Farage on GB News, Trump suggested that the royal would not receive “special privileges.”

Related post