ALIENS, aryinz. An alien is any person to whom the rights of citizenship have not been granted by the State in which he resides or so journs. Though subject to the jurisdiction of the State, and in a sense clothed with its na tional character, if domiciled therein, aliens are not, in a political sense, members of the State. A distinction is made between domiciled aliens or those who have established a residence or a house of trade in the State and temporary so journers. Again a distinction is made between alien friends and alien enemies, the latter of whom are subjects of a hostile state. In time of war alien enemies are placed under special restrictions and disabilities to which other aliens are not subject. Thus they are fre quently denied the privilege of bringing actions in the courts; sometimes their houses of trade are placed under sequestration; during the Eu ropean War of 1914-17 they were in several belligerent countries interned in concentration camps and sometimes they are even expelled in a body as the Italians were from Turkey dur ing the Turco-Italian War of 1911-12, and as the Japanese were from Manchuria during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904.
Although politically members of a foreign state aliens are nevertheless subject to the lo cal jurisdiction; they are held to owe the State in which they reside a local and temporary al legiance and of course they are bound to obey the laws equally with citizens. It has even been held that they may be prosecuted for treason against the State in which they are domiciled (Carlisle v. The United States, 16 Wall. 147). They are not only bound.to obey the local laws, but they may be required to share in the public burdens equally with citi zens. It has been held in the United States that they may be called on to aid in the local defense, although they are not liable to con scription in the regular army. But during the Civil War all aliens who had declared their in tention of becoming citizens of the United States, and who had exercised any political franchise were declared to be subject to the terms of the Draft Act, unless they left the country within 65 days. Being subject to cer tain obligations and duties aliens are equally entitled to certain rights and privileges, the most important of which is the right to pro tection in their persons and property. Most countries, in fact, make no distinction between aliens and citizens so far as the enjoyment of civil rights is concerned; but everywhere they are subject to disabilities in respect to political privileges. They are generally excluded from
the privilege of voting and holding office, al though in a number of American States they may vote and probably also hold office, if they have declared their intention of becoming citi zens. See NATIONALITY.
By an act of Congress of 2 March 1907, they are entitled to a passport, valid for six months, and carrying with it the right of pro tection by the United States government pro vided they have declared their intention of be coming citizens and have resided in the United States for a period of three years.
If they sustain injuries in consequence of riot, mob violence or insurrection they are in the same position as citizens, but the prin ciple now seems established that if they have suffered injuries from attacks on account of their nationality the United States govern ment is under an obligation to indemnify them or their families, especially if the local authori ties were remiss in affording them protection. It is true that the United States government has uniformly denied such liability, but in most instances it has in fact paid an indemnity in such cases.
Under the common law, aliens were once subject to many civil as well as political disa bilities, but most of their civil disabilities have been removed by legislation. Thus at com mon law an alien could not take real property by descent, although he might acquire it by pur chase or gift, but this disability was removed in England by an act of Parliament in 1870 and it has been removed by act of the legisla ture in most of the American States. In most of them, an alien may now acquire, own and convey land equally with citizens, though in a few States the common-law disability still re mains. Some States make a distinction be tween resident and non-resident aliens, allow ing the former, but excluding the latter, from owning real property; others make a similar distinction between aliens who have declared their intention of becoming citizens and those who have not. In the Territories, the District of Columbia and other places subject to the jurisdiction of the United States the ownership of lands is regulated by act of Congress, and Congress has enacted that no alien or foreign corporation shall be allowed to own or hold land in the District of Columbia, and that no alien who has not declared his intention to be come a citizen of the United States may own land in any of the Territories unless the right has been granted by treaty.