The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry
Prince Harry lives in Montecito, Santa Barbara, California with Meghan Markle and their children Archie and Lilibet. Photo: POOL / TOBY MELVILLE POOL / TOBY MELVILLE

Lawyer Samuel Dewey claims the public deserves to know if Prince Harry declared his past use of recreational drugs when he applied for a U.S. visa amid concerns that he was given preferential treatment because of his royal status.

Dewey represents the conservative think tank "The Heritage Foundation" and specialises in white-collar investigations, compliance, and litigation; regulatory compliance and litigation; and complex public policy matters. He is fighting for the release of the Duke of Sussex's visa application citing serious concerns coming from the foundation about "immigration policy, and the laws on the books being properly enforced."

He said, "We had a concern that Prince Harry had preferential treatment because there are certain grounds for inadmissibility into the country regardless of your visa applications; you can't come into the country without meeting certain criteria and one of them relates to drug use."

Immigration laws in the U.S.A. consider failure to declare drug use to immigration officials a serious violation that could result in deportation or being permanently blacklisted from entering the country. Dewey is adamant for the Duke of Sussex to publicise his visa application because the public deserves to know if he told officials about his past use of illicit drugs as he admitted in his memoir "Spare."

The question on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) application which most U.K. applicants would use is: "Have you ever violated any law related to possessing, using, or distributing illegal drugs?"

"We just want to know what happened because if improper treatment has been given that's a huge concern as it relates to the enforcement of the law. When you're talking about immigration it's often a zero-sum game," Dewey explained adding, "If resources were spent processing and giving a special favour to Prince Harry because of his status, they may have been taking away from an applicant who didn't have any potential grounds for inadmissibility and has a very good case to come here."

The lawyer argued that Americans deserve to know the truth about the royal's application process because it relates to what he calls the American stance of fairness. "We don't have royalty here but there's a sense of unfairness in taking your hereditary title and using it very directly to profit without engaging in public service," he said.

As to how strong his case is, Dewey shared that he had "very productive conversations" with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Unfortunately, he has been told by US Customs and Border Protection that they cannot produce private records unless Prince Harry consents and issues a waiver.

But the attorney pointed out that the duke already forfeited his right to privacy when he confessed to using cocaine, marijuana, and magic mushrooms in his memoir "Spare." He said the royal went "enormously" out of his way to "put his stuff in the public spotlight."

"Obviously there's a clear public interest here. Was Harry given preferential treatment because of his status? That's a really important question. I can't say but the public has a right to know," Dewey said adding that he is "fully expecting" and "prepared" to go to federal court just to get these documents.

Dewey's interview comes after other lawyers also discussed Prince Harry's U.S. visa status following his admission of drug use in "Spare." There were those who said it is unlikely that he will be deported or have his visa renewal denied unless he was charged with a criminal act because of his drug use. The criminal violation would then trigger an investigation into his visa application from which immigration officials will determine if he gets to remain in the U.S.A. or not.