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in law, any person residing in one political community while owing allegianceallegiance,
in political terms, the tie that binds an individual to another individual or institution. The term usually refers to a person's legal obligation of obedience to a government in return for the protection of that government, although it may have reference to any
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 to another. A procedure known as naturalizationnaturalization,
official act by which a person is made a national of a country other than his or her native one. In some countries naturalized persons do not necessarily become citizens but may merely acquire a new nationality.
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 permits aliens to become citizenscitizen,
member of a state, native or naturalized, who owes allegiance to the government of the state and is entitled to certain rights. Citizens may be said to enjoy the most privileged form of nationality; they are at the furthest extreme from nonnational residents of a state
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Each nation establishes conditions upon which aliens will be admitted, and makes laws concerning them. Most countries, including the United States, forbid or limit the admission of criminals, paupers, and the diseased. Certain groups and nationalities may be unconditionally excluded from legal residence, but such discrimination is likely to cause international friction.

Aliens, while they reside in a country, are subject to its laws and not to those of their home country, except in cases of extraterritorialityextraterritoriality
or exterritoriality,
privilege of immunity from local law enforcement enjoyed by certain aliens. Although physically present upon the territory of a foreign nation, those aliens possessing extraterritoriality are considered by customary
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 jurisdiction. A state distinguishes between aliens who are merely traveling or living there temporarily and those who have come to stay or work; wider powers are assumed over the second group. In the United States, permanent resident status may entitle an alien to a "green card," and thus to seek employment, and aliens have many of the privileges afforded to citizens, including public assistance and the right to attend public schools, even if they are in the country illegally. The Immigration and Nationality (McCarran-Walter) Act of 1952 requires aliens to register each year with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service).

As citizens of another country, aliens may call on it to intercede in legal matters. Their home state may point out or protest injustice and may also threaten reprisals; such situations have frequently caused international disputes. On the other hand, aliens may find asylumasylum
, extension of hospitality and protection to a fugitive and the place where such protection is offered. The use of temples and churches for this purpose in ancient and medieval times was known as sanctuary.
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 in a country to which they have fled, unless treaties of extraditionextradition
, delivery of a person, suspected or convicted of a crime, by the state where he has taken refuge to the state that asserts jurisdiction over him. Its purpose is to prevent criminals who flee a country from escaping punishment.
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 provide for their return. A state may for political or legal reasons expel an alien who has been admitted, by a procedure called deportationdeportation,
expulsion of an alien from a country by an act of its government. The term is not applied ordinarily to sending a national into exile or to committing one convicted of crime to an overseas penal colony (historically called transportation).
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In time of war, laws governing aliens are usually stricter, and enemy aliens (nationals of enemy countries) may be restricted in various ways. Treaties between most governments provide for reasonable periods at the beginning of hostilities during which aliens may withdraw under supervision. World War II saw registration requirements and the exclusion of enemy aliens from certain U.S. areas, but the removal from their homes and internment in camps of Japanese on the West Coast applied to Americans of Japanese descent as well as to aliens.

Population and economic pressures periodically cause host countries to become less hospitable to aliens. In the 20th cent., U.S. immigrationimmigration,
entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important.
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 and deportation laws have changed in reaction to varying conditions. The "Red Scare" at the end of World War I brought a wave of deportations of anarchists and other radicals.

Illegal aliens are citizens of foreign countries who lack legal status in the country in which they are living. In the United States, most recent illegal aliens have come from Latin America and Asia, with the majority of illegal aliens coming from Mexico. A 1986 law designed to stem the flow of these aliens made it illegal to hire them and granted legal status to those who could prove continuous residence in the U.S. since before 1982. Special allowances were made for seasonal farm workers. Although an estimated 3.9 million aliens were eligible for legal status, only about half applied before the May 1988 deadline. Subsequently, the number of illegal aliens steadily increased from 1990 to 2007, when there were an estimated 12.2 million. Since 2007, however, the number has fallen, to around 11 million.

In the 1990s politicians, including many in such states as California, where large numbers of illegal aliens reside, introduced state or federal legislation aimed at denying various privileges and benefits to aliens, in some cases even to those legally in the United States. A 1996 federal act led to a rapid increase in deportation of aliens who had not immigrated legally, and the INS grew to become the largest federal law-enforcement agency.

Illegal immigration has remained a contentious issue in the 21st cent., especially in those states bordering Mexico. Arizona voters, for example, passed (2004) a measure that requires public officials to turn in illegal immigrants who seek public services, including police and fire assistance, and in 2010 its legislature enacted a second measure that required local law officers to check the status of anyone they stopped who they believe might be an illegal alien. A number of other states have since adopted or considered laws intended to arrest or penalize illegal immigrants or those who hire or aid them, but a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision largely limited to the federal government the right to enact and enforce immigration law.

What does it mean when you dream about aliens?

An alien in a dream may indicate that there is difficulty adjusting to new conditions or a new environment. Space aliens may indicate issues about ones boundaries; the dreamer may feel his or her personal life is being invaded.


1. a person owing allegiance to a country other than that in which he lives; foreigner
2. (in science fiction) a being from another world, sometimes specifically an extraterrestrial


Occasionally, people will have dreams about UFOs and aliens. What these dreams symbolize, collectively or individually, is difficult to explain and understand. Meeting and talking to aliens may suggest that significant changes are coming into your life and, at the moment, things feel strange and foreign to you. If you dream that you are the alien, it suggests that you may feel detached from some parts of yourself and from others. You may be a stranger in your immediate surroundings, and some self-evaluation and familiarization is suggested.
References in classic literature ?
In England they missed the alien tongues of Continental streets that reminded them of their own polyglot cities.
I arose with a shining pate, wigless ; she in disdain and wrath, half buried in alien hair.
I'm morally certain now that Jenkins was the undesirable alien Turnbull wanted to convict in another shooting-affair, but you see the shooting gentleman had another shot in his locker.
There was a silence; and then Seymour said, with an emphasis quite alien to his daily accent: "But I saw a man in the passage.
Differing one from another in natures and moods so greatly as they did, they yet formed, bending, a curiously uniform row--automatic, noiseless; and an alien observer passing down the neighbouring lane might well have been excused for massing them as "Hodge".
He brought with him into our rearguard all the freshness of atmosphere of the French army, which was so alien to us.
I have known such passions at every period of my life, but it is mainly of the loves of my youth that I shall write, and I shall write all the more frankly because my own youth now seems to me rather more alien than that of any other person.
And something awoke in the slumbering heart Of the alien birds in their African air, And they paused, and alighted, and twittered apart, And met in the broad white dreamy square, And the sad slave woman, who lifted up From the fountain her broad-lipped earthen cup, Said to herself, with a weary sigh, "To-morrow the swallows will northward fly.
It was with a strange feeling of desolation, mingled with a strong sense of the novelty of my situation, and a joyless kind of curiosity concerning what was yet unknown, that I awoke the next morning; feeling like one whirled away by enchantment, and suddenly dropped from the clouds into a remote and unknown land, widely and completely isolated from all he had ever seen or known before; or like a thistle-seed borne on the wind to some strange nook of uncongenial soil, where it must lie long enough before it can take root and germinate, extracting nourishment from what appears so alien to its nature: if, indeed, it ever can.
I wonder if it will be -- can be -- any more beautiful than this," murmured Anne, looking around her with the loving, enraptured eyes of those to whom "home" must always be the loveliest spot in the world, no matter what fairer lands may lie under alien stars.
You have thrown a bridge across the gulf which separates us people of alien tongues and alien manners.
As a rule, they were stuffed with fear--and with a fear so strange and alien that it had no ponderable quality.