DHS rejected Heritage Foundation’s attempt to get Prince Harry’s visa application

For months, the Heritage Foundation has been in the business of providing anti-Sussex content for the “niche” British newspapers. The American right-wing think-tank teamed up with the Telegraph, the Mail and other British outlets to “file a Freedom of Information Act request” for Prince Harry’s visa application. Their “argument” was that Harry admitted to drug use in his memoir, therefore they have the right to know whether or not Harry admitted this drug use in his visa application. Keep in mind, at no point did Heritage provide any evidence that Harry lied or failed to disclose anything on his private visa application. This was always purely a fishing expedition and a high-level attempt to force the United States to “deport” Harry. Last week, Heritage was granted a hearing before an American judge, and the judge basically kicked the FOIA request back to the Department of Homeland Security to decide whether or not they would comply with the FOIA. The judge gave DHS a week to decide. DHS decided “lol, no.”

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has rejected a request by the conservative Heritage Foundation to expedite a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the think tank for the release of the immigration records of the Duke of Sussex.

DHS Senior Director Jimmy Wolfrey wrote in a letter that “To the extent records exist, this office does not find a public interest in disclosure sufficient to override the subject’s privacy interests,” according to the New York Post. DHS notified the think tank on Tuesday, one week after being ordered to respond to the request by DC federal court Judge Carl Nichols.

Heritage lawyer Samuel Dewey told the paper that the reply from DHS “shows an appalling lack of transparency by the 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. 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.”

“We can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any records relating to your request under Section 3, pursuant to FOIA Exemptions (b)(6) and (b)(7)(C). Exemption (b)(6) exempts from disclosure personnel or medical files and similar files the release of which would cause a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,” DHS wrote, according to Inner City Press.

“The privacy interests of the individual in the records you have requested outweigh any minimal public interest in disclosure of the information. Exemption (b)(7)(C) excludes records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such materials could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,” the agency added. “To the extent records exist, this office does not find a public interest in disclosure sufficient to override the subject’s privacy interests.”

[From The Independent]

There’s some good news and bad news. Bad news: this farcical exercise isn’t over, and Heritage already has a different hearing set up about getting their hands on Harry’s visa. While I expect that issue to end up the same way – being laughed out of court – it’s painful that Heritage has endless resources to make asses out of themselves and target an immigrant married to an American woman, with two American children. As Forbes pointed out this week, even if Heritage somehow “proved” that Harry’s drug use would make him ineligible for a visa, he still would be eligible for a waiver, given the circumstances of his marriage to Meghan and his children. Good news: what Heritage is asking for, the actual crux of their case, is simply an awful legal precedent and no judge or federal agency would ever side with Heritage in this case or any case like it. Heritage admits that they’re targeting Harry because A) he wrote a best-selling memoir and B) Heritage itself is using the issue to create content for the British media.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Cover Images and Netflix.

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59 Responses to “DHS rejected Heritage Foundation’s attempt to get Prince Harry’s visa application”

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  1. Amy Bee says:

    As long as the British press pays them the Heritage Foundation will continue this farce.

    • Sunshine says:

      So the answer is simple. Stop enriching the uk media. Stop clicking and buying.

      • Polo says:

        Absolutely!! I’ve completely stopped clicking, engaging or sharing anything with these abusers. And I tell anyone around me to avoid these publications.

      • Ashley says:

        Yeah, except this site you’re on right now embeds Daily Mail text and links in many of its articles, and not just royal-pearl-clutching ones. The Christine Baumgartner article today cites and links to the Mail. We’re feeding the beast right here.

    • Snuffles says:

      Exactly. I can only assume they are getting paid handsomely to keep embarrassing themselves.

    • Miranda says:

      It’s almost like Harry has to contend with 2 narcissistic parents: his father, and the British press who still think they own him.

    • Flower says:

      The UK press is shelling out A LOT of money to various groups and people incl the Markle’s to discredit the Sussexes – just goes to show how much they deem them a threat.

    • Mary Pester says:

      How many more times do they have to be told NO. Maybe it’s time Harry took out a harassment suit against these idiots, and the courts now need to ask for proof WHO is funding this vendetta, because that’s exactly what it is

    • Eurydice says:

      Harry’s just a high profile pawn in this. The Heritage Foundation is going after Homeland Security in general for a whole host of things, including non-compliance with immigration laws. Harry’s name insures that THF will make the news. The British media doesn’t need to pay them anything, just to ride on their coattails.

    • HeyJude says:

      They won’t. At some point this will get shut down for the real reason the press is digging: I think Harry’s exempt from this immigration drug issue/FOIA release from a state’s secrets perspective. Not that he gave any secrets but he was privy to high-level information during his time as an active royal both at war and back home when it came to the Diana inquiry and the security ops of the British head of state. However when that reason is unveiled the British press will accuse him of being a traitor and giving some kind of secrets to the US. None of which he’d do as we know.

  2. girl_ninja says:

    Heritage are filled with racist misogynists who want to control anyone not doing thing their white supremacist way.

    Another victim for Harry and Meghan and may they have another and another.

    • Flower says:

      You just described the UK tabloids:

      “filled with racist misogynists who want to control anyone not doing thing their white supremacist way”

      • Mary Pester says:

        @Flower it reminds everyone of what both princess Margaret and Princess Diana said Margaret said, if they can’t control you, they control how others see you, and Diana said, “that which they can’t control they seek to destroy”
        How those words are echoing down through the years

      • Debbie says:

        @Mary Pester: Well put too.

  3. Sheyr says:

    I am so exhausted on behalf of Harry and Meghan. No idea how they cope.

    I wish they could just live their lives and thrive without these right wing nut jobs relentlessly targeting them at every turn.

    • SAS says:

      I know! That sweet pic of them hugging makes me feel for them that they have to be so constantly guarded and the huge extents they have to go to for privacy for fear of such ridiculous attacks like this. Just leave them alone!

      And then the gorgeous Ms. awards pics makes me feel awful considering what they went through that night. How can they live like that?!

  4. Slush says:

    This is so wild to me. The GOP is such a shell of its former self. Harry did what conservatives in America used to care about: he got off the public dole and started making his own money, and is spending that money in the US, contributing to our economy. 10 years ago they would’ve celebrated him, but now he’s too “woke” or something or other bulls*t.

    • Amy Bee says:

      It just shows how much the Royal Family is a symbol of white supremacy.

    • Snuffles says:

      Not to defend the GOP, but I suspect your average, non MAGA Republican has zero issue with Harry because he’s a rich, white man contributing millions to the US economy. Add the fact that he’s pro-military, they probably secretly love Harry.

      • Wendy says:

        But do they secretly love him more than they hate people who don’t know their place and dare to speak out against authoritarian institutions? After all, if they can still comfortably call themselves a Republican today, they must still be okay with what their party is doing… and that’s a big fuckin’ yikes.

      • Bren says:

        I don’t know. I still feel like many believe he abandoned his duty and white family. While we see Harry protecting the family he created, many more see it as he’s attacking the royal family. Unfortunately, the British tabloid narrative has worked too well.

      • ML says:

        I wonder if you’re right, Snuffles. About 45% of my family is R—about half Trumpkins and have never Trumpers. If they care about the royals (lots of family members don’t), the MAGAts and I only agree on Andrew and Camzilla. The other group is more nuanced, though WanK remains bizarrely popular. Other than family, I don’t really know many Rs or how they think. And as the youth get to be voting age, my family is becoming more and more Democrat.

  5. equality says:

    If they like to waste money, let them, but they need to drop the lie that they are doing some noble deed for the American people. If they were really concerned about the public, they could find all sorts of better ways to spend their money. Maybe like some of the type of things that H&M donate to. They can’t point to anything that PH is doing in the US that will endanger the rights or welfare of anyone. What he has done is help others by giving and by employment.

    • Bee says:

      But will no one think of ThE AmErIcAn PeOpLe?!?! LOL. Like most of them even care. Let these asses blow their money on this. At least it’s helping out some attorneys. And “journalists” haha.

  6. The tabloids and family are going all out to diminish Harry one way or another. This think tank should rethink their priorities and move on.

    • Snuffles says:

      And in the process they are diminishing themselves and only turning Harry and Meghan into legends.

  7. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Their relentless pursuit of this is in birther territory. Same playbook. Same racists trying to attack Harry for being adjacent to a POC. So one please do an expose on the Hertiage Foundation and all it’s arms and influence in politics and media.

  8. MsIam says:

    Taxpayers need to protest this waste of resources to fight this nothing lawsuit. So funny when right wingers are always barking about taxpayers and saving money. Hypocrites as usual.

  9. Dee(2) says:

    As they should have, and yeah they will keep going. They’re trying to frame it now around the idea that somehow the American people need to know this and it’s evidence of poor immigration policies. Never really explaining how an incredibly wealthy person coming into the US and providing jobs is somehow a bad thing. What’s next asking for Meghan’s medical records because the hospital where she gave birth to Lili may get some government subsidies?The real story is the British media needs content, and they aren’t providing it and the royals who fall all over themselves to be on the front pages there are boring.

  10. MSTJ says:

    I’ve said this before on previous posts about this topic, this pursuit by the HF and British tabloids is about intimidation of Prince Harry because of his court cases. They’ve tried numerous ways to control him and they continue to hit brick walls. Even an eviction from his home by the King has not deterred Harry. I admire Harry’s focus and bravery in continuing his mission to bring the media to account and improve it for Britain. Even the RF and monarchy (the institution/firm) have cowered in their fear of the power of the tabloids whereas Harry hasn’t.

    Continued prayers to him and his family for their well-being, financial independence and success with their endeavors.

    • Bee says:

      Oh 100%! This is manufactured nonsense. Harry is brave and focused. And also the law is on his side. He will win this. And they will go back to pounding the table. (Which is what you do when neither the law nor the facts are on your side.) If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the facts are against you, argue the law. If both the facts and the law are against you, pound the table. This is a first semester law school truism and it fits perfectly here. The law and the facts are against them. They are wasting the court’s time. Usually judges take a dim view of that.

  11. Lili says:

    Has the Uk considered, that even if he gets deported from the US there are other places he could go, or maybe he has evough money now to buy himself a small island for him and his family and can stop the ukmedia from encrouching on his Island. but that is the worst case . there is nothing really for him to go back to in the UK.

    it is utterly demented to try and deport him, when you essentially made life difficult for him and his family

    • Shawna says:

      For the media, it may be enough to try to embarrass Harry in the American media, and to get the information of the visa so the media can feed on for weeks. For the British royal family, the very fact that Harry shows that there’s a way to live well and for the public good outside the BRF, makes them scared that the British Public is going to realize that they don’t have to accept the monarchy as it’s going now, that things could be different. Harry’s posing an existential threat to both parties, whether he’s intending to or not in case of the BRF, and so they’re just throwing anything they can at him, logical or not.

      • Kingston says:

        @Shawna says:
        “For the media, it may be enough to try to embarrass Harry in the American media….”

        The fundamental mistake that brits of all classes make, is believing that other people, in other countries (meaning, in this case, Americans) share brits’ belief in their particular brand of social stratification of their society.

        Lets be clear, every society has their own system of social stratification. In America, for example, while race has always been and will ALWAYS be a factor in every consideration of life in America, its social structure is based primarily on financial wealth. In britain, their social structure is based on their ancient, out-dated notion of hereditary “class;” and altho over the years, there have been several attempts to modernize, these attempts are mostly only “on the books,” so to speak, with social behavior still very much based on their out-dated hereditary class system.

        For example, for all of british history, until 1958, with the passage of the Life Peerages Act 1958…….”the Parliament of the United Kingdom was organized on a class basis, with the House of Lords representing the hereditary upper class and the House of Commons representing everybody else. [And, of course] The British monarch is usually viewed as being at the top of the social class structure.”

        So, to get back to the original point, the nasty brits who are out to get Harry, with the help of the racist heritage foundation, wish to tear him down from his perch at the top of their society as a member of the BRF, because he dared to “elevate” Blackness to the top of their society when, in fact, Blackness ‘belongs’ at the bottom.

        They believe that sheer and shared whiteness would automatically get white Americans on their side and against H, the “race traitor.”

        Alas, the inability of racist, classist brits to appreciate the value that America places on freedom, industriousness and independence (among other humanist values) is the reason theyre so perplexed about America’s embrace of H&M.

        Everyone should read this article by [@]royal_suitor: “Will The House of Windsor Turn Into A House of Cards.”
        [In it she explains why racist classist brits wont stop trying to get rid of M.]
        See her work at muckrackDOTcom.

      • Beverley says:

        Kingston is absolutely right. Britons do seem to believe that everyone in the world relates to others as they do: according to “class” standing. They just don’t get that we Americans aren’t on the same page. They want us to help put Duchess Meghan “in her place”. But we really don’t think in those terms. We respect wealth earned through merit, like hard work and talent. Rich people sucking off the taxpayers’ teat don’t impress us at all (looking at you Windsors). Plus, we don’t give a damn about royalty.

      • Shawna says:

        @Kingston – thanks for the schooling! 100%. You’re absolutely right that race is the major issue.

        I meant to say that they *think* they can embarrass Harry in the American press even if the case doesn’t win or if it wasn’t meant to win but just muddy the waters.

  12. Brassy Rebel says:

    They openly state that they want the Biden administration to be “transparent” with a private citizen’s personal information. They can kick rocks.

    • Renae says:

      They want “transparency? Then do Melania. ‘Nuff said.

      • Blithe says:

        And Melania’s parents. And Rupert Murdoch. If an appalling precedent gets set, my wish list is just getting started….

  13. Jan says:

    Someone stamped Denied on Niles forehead, which is huge, now he is being called 10 head.
    He was all over the sad little man show, spouting crap, like Harry is not married to an American with 2 children.
    When will the BM and the BRF realize that they don’t control Harry and he is not going jump through hoops or care about nonsense.
    Piss Moron is muzzled until September due to the court case.

    • Kel says:

      Sad little man has a niche audience of about 100k on a good day. I’m glad their fake outrage stays in their small bubble of hate. I know even his audience must be tired of the constant losing.

      To be honest I’m just glad Meghan’s gotten a bit of a break from the constant stream of hate. The stories ain’t hitting like they used to. Whether that’s because of WME or because she refused to be used at the coronation..may this trend continue.
      Even stories about Harry have more to do with court than anything else.

    • Bee says:

      Morgan having to STFU is the best part of this stupid mess. Please, keep saying nothing, dude!

      • Lady D says:

        He’s going to have a stroke having to keep his mouth shut for almost three months. It will be more than he can bear, which means he’ll still be writing the columns, they will just be published under another name.

      • Deering24 says:

        …or he’ll become one of those endless “anonymous sources.”

  14. sara says:

    the danger is if some idiot judge does let this through – this fucks literally thousands and thousands of people – all bc they want to be hateful and spiteful to harry and meghan. this is not gossip, this is genuinely dangerous and violent to people’s lives. we live in the stupidest timeline. just please don’t treat this like gossip. honestly, it should only be reported on to point out how hateful it is and to shut them down, but I am very concerned it will just encourage others to try and push this and use this for other horrific purposes. it needs to just stop.

    • TheWigletOfWails says:

      No judge would ever let this through because they’d be literally violating the law and setting a dangerous precedent. HF’s case or what’s left of it will be dismissed with prejudice. The BM can blag and hack citizens for their private information but the US doesn’t play those games.

      All they’ve done is prove to the government and sane public the extent to which they’d go to harass Harry and Meghan and the reason why the Sussexes left the UK. His immigration records are not of public interest nor of interest to the public.

  15. Chantal says:

    This is hilarious! And I needed a good laugh today!

    I could have told HF that would be the response for a fraction of the attorneys fees charged! DHS took the entire week to just to say no. “To the extent records exist”… “We can neither confirm nor deny… ” I know whoever wrote the response had a lot of fun. We all know the records exist so no need to confirm or deny. The fact that DHS is effin with HF like this is funny but I’m sure DHS is not amused at the repeated attempts to bully them. I would guess that it HF keeps up the bs, DHS could simply shut it down with a simple “no, for national security reasons…” and that would be the end of that. The fed govt could easily stonewall them in the courts for years with appeals, and still have a final resolution of no. It irritates me greatly that tax dollars are being used for this nonsense.

    HF better hope DHS doesn’t start investigating why they are trying to force the U.S. Govt’s hand in this matter and whose funding this fishing expedition. It would set an awful precedent and gain entry into the inner workings of one of our most secretive agencies, which I suspect is what they really want and gets to conveniently use Harry as a means. Anyway, I’m popcorn ready!

    • Eurydice says:

      I don’t think this has anything to do with Harry, except for using his fame. The Heritage Foundation has been challenging the DHS on several issues of immigration policy and non-compliance of immigration laws. They don’t want transparency of Harry’s records, they want transparency of everybody’s records. Using Harry is a sure way to make the news – and if the US press doesn’t care, they can count on the British tabloids to step up.

  16. what's inside says:

    DHS needs to look into HF which is participating in terrorism of two individuals, one of whom is an American by birth and has two children who are American.

    • Interested Gawker says:

      Yes! It’s appalling that this ridiculous cabal keeps pretending this isn’t about separating H&M so they can get H back in their clutches! This entire situation is based on H&M saying no to the rota! They didn’t get ‘half in half’ out because the didn’t want to work with those jackals and the reason the establishment wouldn’t allow that is their need to keep trying to oust Meghan. That’s all this is. Harry has kept his eye trained on the big picture about how the British media controls people through fear and intimidation to maintain power over the country and the RF thinks it’s the uppity American that’s the ‘problem’. Now that they have been gone from England for YEARS they are still trying because dismantling the BM through his various lawsuits threatens them and their power structure.

      H&M live, work, pay taxes in America. There should be a stop put to all this witness intimidation through government channels from these think tanks and newspaper groups. The fact that they are in litigation with H makes this so ridiculous and obvious. It should all be dragged out into the sunlight were the funds to harass the Sussexes is coming from.

  17. GDubslady says:

    Heritage Foundation forgets that iit was Trump’s DHS that processed Harry’s VISA application.

  18. Maida says:

    “Appalling lack of transparency by the Biden Administration,” eh? Yet the folks at Heritage said nothing while Trump moved to keep all the White House visitor logs — and his tax returns — secret.

    I am beyond sick of this fact-free GOP bloviating.

  19. Isabella says:

    Most people have taken drugs at one time or another. And he didn’t even take the drugs in the U.S. but in a foreign country. We’d have to bar half of humankind if we got that silly on visa applications. And nobody has the time. We are mainly worried about letting terrorist into the country.

  20. Lilly (with the double-L) says:

    Build a bridge and get over it. Abusers often seem well-funded and the hate keeps them energized and closed-minded. But, also today joy and love is energizing me. YAY for ICWA! Sure Alito and Thomas remained as expected, but 7-2!!!!

  21. aquarius64 says:

    HF is really trying to find out if Harry has a green card.

  22. Isabella says:

    So the Heritage Foundation had no problem with Melania Trump’s skeezy visa, obtained under a special status as if she were a highly desired skilled person. They didn’t followup on rumors that she may have worked illegally while here on a tourist visa. They didn’t care that her white Slovanian parents got in during the Trump administration, possibly under a IR-5 visa, a category the White House was proposing to kill.

    But Harry marries a biracial woman and speaks out against the crown. He should be deported! He has NO drug convictions. Tell me when anybody has ever been deported and/or arrested for saying they took drugs in the past.

    Vox has a good article on Melania’s visa issues, from way back in 2018.
    “It is also entirely possible that Melania knowingly committed visa fraud; that, in fact, she lied to US immigration officials when entering the country in August 1996 about her intentions to work while in the US. That’s not just an immigration violation but an outright federal crime.

    Either way, in order for Melania to have gotten a green card and then US citizenship, she would have had to attest that she hadn’t violated immigration law before — something that now appears to be untrue.

  23. Tennyson.Sarah says:

    I’m a French national who has lived in the USA and now live on Salty Island.
    I can’t wait for the day when Harry becomes a US citizen !

  24. HeatherC says:

    Do you know who owns a house/estate in Connecticut, United States and uses that as his “primary residence?”

    Keith Richards.

    The end.