BIDEN administration asks for more time to hand over details of Prince HARRY's immigration papers to a judge amid drug use controversy

Tuesday, March 19, 2024
 – The US Department of Homeland Security has said it needs an extra two weeks to search for Prince Harry's immigration records as a federal judge weighs whether or not they should be made public.

The department made its request in a court filing Sunday, saying it needed more time to respond to Judge Carl Nichols' order to provide more information about why his immigration details should be kept secret.

The conservative Heritage Foundation is seeking the release of the documents amid questions about whether Harry lied about his drug use in his visa application.

'Defendant has begun the search but searching for and reviewing the records has taken longer than anticipated,' wrote D.H.S. lawyers in the filing.

They also said other government agencies may need to review the documents before they can be handed over to the judge.

'Thus, having established good cause, the defendant respectfully requests an additional fourteen days, up to and including April 4, 2024, to comply with the court's order,' they wrote.

The filing is the latest twist in the legal battle over the Duke of Sussex and his immigration status.

He entered the U.S. in March 2020 and lives with his American wife Meghan and their two children in Montecito, California.

However, in his memoir 'Spare,' he admitted using cocaine, cannabis and psychedelic mushrooms.

U.S. immigration authorities routinely ask about drug use on visa applications. British celebrities including singer Amy Winehouse and model Kate Moss have run into difficulties.

However, acknowledging past drug use does not necessarily result in automatic rejection.

Against that background, the Heritage Foundation filed a Freedom of Information request last year to get to the bottom of what happened.

Nile Gardiner, who is spearheading the request, said it was a matter of ensuring that no one got special treatment.

'Again, Harry has publicly admitted to extensive illegal drug use,' he wrote recently.

'What do we submit this means? That Harry seems to have received special treatment: the DHS looked the other way if the Prince answered truthfully, or it looked the other way if the Prince lied on his visa application.

'Either action would be wrong.'

D.H.S. refused to release any information, in order to 'protect the Duke's privacy,' and the matter is now in federal court as Judge Nichols decides on the best course of action.

After a hearing last month, he told D.H.S. its arguments were 'insufficiently detailed' for him to make a ruling.

'Having reviewed the parties' written submissions and heard oral argument on the motions, the court concludes that in camera review is necessary to determine whether the records in dispute come within the scope of the claimed exemptions,' he wrote in an order.

He gave the Biden administration until March 21 to submit 'declarations that detail, with particularity, the records it is withholding and the particular harm that would arise from public disclosure of them.'

In the February hearing, government lawyers argued that Harry's memoir proved nothing.

John Bardo, for the Department of Homeland Security, told the court: 'Just saying something in a book doesn't make it true.'

People put things in books sometimes just to sell more copies, he argued.

Lawyers for Heritage also introduced a transcript of the GMA interview on February 16, 2024 'in which the Duke of Sussex discusses potentially seeking United States citizenship.'

They said it added to their case seeking the release of his immigration files.

In a court filing Heritage said: 'Widespread and continuous media coverage has surfaced the question of whether DHS properly admitted the Duke of Sussex in light of the fact that he has publicly admitted to the essential elements of a number of drug offences.'

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