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 of a “hostile nation” within the United States alien enemies and determine the manner in which they may be “apprehended, restrained, secured and removed.” (50 USC 21). Presidential Proclamations issued by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in December 1941 deemed persons of German, Japanese and Italian ancestry alien enemies and severely restricted their rights.