America! The land of the free. A place for second chances. But if you’re a foreigner who wants to keep basking in the aforementioned freedom, the one thing you probably shouldn’t do is write about your excessive drug use in a memoir when you’re on a visa.
That’s the mistake made by Prince Harry, who now faces legal action that could end with his deportation back to Britain.
You’d think a royal armed with the best schooling (and lawyers) money can buy would know that. But as is clear from Prince Harry’s latest debacle, hundreds of thousands of the finest British pounds in tuition will only get you so far. In his memoir Spare he wrote that he had consumed cocaine on several occasions. “Of course. I had been doing cocaine around this time. At someone’s country house, during a shooting weekend, I’d been offered a line, and I’d done a few more since,” Harry revealed. Perhaps you could forgive him the mistakes of a wealthy seventeen-year-old. But then came the chapter in which Harry bragged about having magic mushrooms and the trip that followed while he was at Friends star Courtney Cox’s house in Los Angeles.
“Beside the toilet was a round silver bin, the kind with a foot pedal to open the lid,” he wrote. “I stared at the bin. It stared back. Then it became… a head. I stepped on the pedal and the head opened its mouth. A huge open grin. I laughed, turned away, took a piss. Now the loo became a head too. The bowl was its gaping maw, the hinges of the seat were its piercing silver eyes. It said, ‘Aaah.’”
As entertaining as the story might be, the authorities, Harry’s family are less impressed. One source close to the family described Harry’s drug tales as “idiotic.” Adding that, “the family are beyond embarrassed by Harry right now, for many obvious reasons, but a prince writing about his use of illegal drugs is quite extraordinary. It’s idiotic, even for Harry.”
Leading the crusade to ship the prince back to his castle in Britain is the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington, DC. After the release of Spare, the foundation filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to see whether or not the rules were followed in granting Haz his visa. Sources close to Harry briefed the papers that he “did tell US officials he had taken drugs when he applied for his visa,” which begs the question: why should Harry be treated differently than any other applicant?
So, is it likely that Harry will be deported? When the Heritage Foundation’s Samuel Dewey was asked, he said: “That is certainly one of the many possibilities. We just don’t know what happened because we don’t have the information because they’re withholding it from us.” He added: “It is commonly the case that if you are found to have lied on an immigration form that you will be deported.”
Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani previously told the New York Post‘s Page Six: “An admission of drug use is usually grounds for inadmissibility.” Even if Harry isn’t shipped off, his admission of drug use could hinder his ability to become a US citizen or reapply for another visa when his is up, which could come as soon as later this year.
The Heritage Foundation filed a complaint under the Freedom of Information Act, in order to compel the government to release Harry’s immigration file. “The requested information is of immense public interest,” the complaint read. Adding that “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 offenses in both the United States and abroad.”
“United States law generally renders such a person inadmissible for entry to the United States. Intense media coverage has also surfaced the question of whether DHS may have improperly granted the Duke of Sussex a waiver to enter the Country on a non-immigrant visa given his history of admissions to the essential elements of drug offenses,” the document continued.
Much attention has been directed to the state of Harry and Meghan’s relationship over the last few months. In January, after Harry released his memoir, the pair were noticeably distant from each other, and Meghan chose not to join Harry on his worldwide privacy tour to promote his new book. Since then, there have been reports that Harry frequents a hotel, San Vicente Bungalows, where he has a room “set aside” for him to get away from his wife Meghan Markle. Perhaps a royal deportation, as embarrassing as it is, may be for the best.