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Biden administration 'refuses to release Prince Harry's immigration records' after Duke admitted drug use in Spare
14 June 2023, 22:06 | Updated: 14 June 2023, 22:14
The US government has refused to release Prince Harry's immigration records following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by a conservative think-tank.
The Heritage Foundation requested the release of the duke's immigration papers amid concerns about how much of his drug use he revealed to US authorities when he moved to America in February 2020.
Prince Harry revealed in his controversial memoir Spare - published in January - that he had taken mushrooms, cocaine and marijuana.
Admitting to taking drugs can make moving to the United States permanently very difficult, but the US government does not consider the Heritage Foundation's request to be valid.
"To the extent records exist, this office does not find a public interest in disclosure sufficient to override the subject’s privacy interests," Department of Homeland Security (DHS) senior director Jimmy Wolfrey wrote - according to a letter obtained by The New York Post.
Director of the Heritage Foundation's Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom - Nile Gardiner - argued that the department's response shows an "appalling of transparency by the [Joe] Biden administration".
"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," Mr Gardiner told the publication.
"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."
In a hearing on the matter on June 6, a representative for the Biden administration argued that it did not matter when the foundation's request was handled.
But the foundation hit back saying that concern over Prince Harry's immigration status would wane over time.
It comes after Prince Harry appeared in court to give evidence as part of his case against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), in which he claims to be the victim of phone hacking.
The Duke of Sussex argued that alleged intrusion by Daily Mirror journalists affected his relationships, including with Chelsy Davy, and that he decided to bring about the case to protect his wife Meghan Markle.