Saturday, 14 July 2018

alien and sedition acts

The four bills passed into law on this day by the Federalist Party dominated US congress of 1798 made it more difficult for immigrants to acquire citizenship, granted the president the discretion to deport or imprison immigrants deemed a threat to national security and criminalised statements critical of the federal government.
Critics successfully argued that the acts were too onerous and persecuted those who disagreed with the Federalists or their values, codified at the time as a counter-measure to revolutionary fervour in France and the rest of Europe that was seen now as a threat to the newly-minted republic, and were three-quarters repealed during the Democrat-Republican administration of Thomas Jefferson. Remaining in statute, the Aliens Enemies Act was invoked during World War II to intern mostly Americans with Japanese heritage but also Germans and Italians and is still part of US code.