Enemy alien
In law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

, an enemy alien
Alien (law)
In law, an alien is a person in a country who is not a citizen of that country.-Categorization:Types of "alien" persons are:*An alien who is legally permitted to remain in a country which is foreign to him or her. On specified terms, this kind of alien may be called a legal alien of that country...

is a citizen of a country which is in a state of conflict with the land in which he or she is located. Usually, but not always, the countries are in a state of declared war.

United Kingdom

At the outbreak of World War II, in 1939, the United Kingdom had become a place of refuge for people who had fled Nazi persecution, including Jews and political refugees. At first, the authorities interned these refugees with other enemy residents, without distinction. Later on, when Italy also declared war, significant numbers of Italian residents were also interned.

The Isle of Man
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

, relatively isolated from the British mainland and with a useful amount of holiday accommodation was used to provide housing for the "Alien Civilians" (as it had in World War I). There were also efforts to move internees from Britain. In July, 1940, the Arandora Star
Arandora Star
SS Arandora Star was a British registered cruise ship operated by the Blue Star Line from the late 1920s through the 1930s. At the onset of World War II she was assigned as a troop transport and moving refugees. At the end of June 1940 she was assigned the task of transporting German and Italian...

was torpedoed and sunk while transporting Italian and German aliens to North America; 743 died, including prisoners, crew and guards. The 813 surviving prisoners were subsequently included in the 2,500 men transported by HMT Dunera
HMT Dunera
His Majesty's Transport Dunera was a British passenger ship built as a troop transport in the late 1930s. She also operated as a passenger liner and as an educational cruise ship. Dunera saw extensive service throughout the Second World War....

 for internment in Hay, New South Wales
Hay, New South Wales
Hay is a town in the western Riverina region of south western New South Wales , Australia.  It is the administrative centre of Hay Shire Local Government Area and the centre of a prosperous and productive agricultural district on the wide Hay Plains....


United States

A well known example of enemy aliens were the Japanese citizens residing in the United States during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Many of these Japanese and Japanese-Americans were imprisoned in internment camps
Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning as: "The action of 'interning'; confinement within the limits of a country or place." Most modern usage is about individuals, and there is a distinction...

 by President Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 during wartime, alongside many Italian-Americans. It is important, however, to recognize that the Japanese-Americans and Italian-Americans were not actually "aliens", as they held American citizenship, only the non-American citizens can be correctly termed "enemy aliens" and be interned. However, German American, Italian American and Japanese American permanent resident aliens were interned in the United States during WWII. In total 10,905 Italian Americans and 11,229 Japanese Americans were interned in many different camps and sites across the country. German Americans were held in more than 50 different locations.
Citizens of an enemy country who lived in the USA during World War II, were required to have a "Enemy Alien" card and register monthly with the authorities. Similar regulations existed in Canada and Mexico.

See also

  • 1798 US Alien and Sedition Acts
    Alien and Sedition Acts
    The Alien and Sedition Acts were four bills passed in 1798 by the Federalists in the 5th United States Congress in the aftermath of the French Revolution's reign of terror and during an undeclared naval war with France, later known as the Quasi-War. They were signed into law by President John Adams...

  • alien (law)
    Alien (law)
    In law, an alien is a person in a country who is not a citizen of that country.-Categorization:Types of "alien" persons are:*An alien who is legally permitted to remain in a country which is foreign to him or her. On specified terms, this kind of alien may be called a legal alien of that country...

  • legal alien
  • resident alien
    Resident Alien
    Resident Alien is the debut album from the British glam rock band Spacehog. Released by Elektra Records on 24 October 1995, the album was certified as gold on 29 July 1996 and included the hit single "In the Meantime", which reached the top of the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the United States,...

  • nonresident alien
  • Crystal City, Texas
    Crystal City, Texas
    Crystal City is a city in and the county seat of Zavala County, Texas, United States. The population was 7,190 at the 2000 census. The mascot of Crystal City High School is the Javelina....

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