Alien

Any person who is not a citizen of the country he or she lives in or visits.

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Alien Enemies Act

In 1798, the US government passed the Alien Enemies and Sedition Acts. The Sedition Act was eventually overturned, but the Alien Enemies Act (“AEA”) was recodified in 1918 and is part of the US war and national defense statutes. (50 USC 21-24). The AEA provides that the President, pursuant to proclamation, may deem all aliens […]

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Citizen

A person regarded as a member of a sovereign state due to birth or naturalization, entitled to its protection and subject to its laws.

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Civil Liberties

Rights of the individual from unwarranted government interference, usually guaranteed and protected by a constitution or by adherence to an international treaty. The Bill of Rights, as part of the U.S. Constitution, guarantees the right to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of peaceable assembly, the right to petition the […]

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Civil Rights

Rights guaranteed to an individual owing to his or her status as a citizen or resident of a particular country or community. Civil rights of U.S. citizens and residents protected by the U.S. Constitution include the right to equal protection without regard to race, color, previous condition of servitude, sex or national origin; the right […]

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Constitutional Rights

Rights of the individual guaranteed in a national constitution which defines and establishes government in society and basic principles to which society is to conform. In the U.S., included are the civil liberties and civil rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution (described above) and the right to due process of law (e.g., the right to […]

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Department of Justice

In simple terms, the Department of Justice is a part of the United States executive branch responsible for the administration of justice. During World War II, it was delegated plenary authority over alien enemies pursuant to the Alien Enemies Act and oversaw their treatment, including internment.

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Detention

A period of temporary custody prior to disposition by legal authorities to more permanent confinement, parole or release. Pursuant to the Alien Enemies Act, during World War II, many “enemy aliens” were held in temporary detention for months, if not years, in local jails, INS facilities, internment camps.

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