Alien Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Alien, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Alien?
v. the bench area is the sacred territory of the judge, located between the counsel table and the front of the bench, the bench here refering to large desk or dias on which the judge sits. Approaching the bench is the action of a counsel reaching that space, commonly for the purpose of speaking to the judge or passing physical evidences for judge’s reference. Usually such action is preceded by a request, “may I approach the bench”, put forth by the counsel; its more of a respect towards the bench than a request to actualy approach.
History and Meaning of Alien
The term "alien" has been used in the legal context to refer to someone who is not a citizen or national of the country in which they reside. The term has a long history, dating back to early English law, and has been used to classify individuals who are not part of the society in which they live.
In the United States, the term "alien" is currently used to refer to non-citizens who are legally present in the country, including both permanent residents and temporary visa holders. The term has been controversial in recent years due to its association with anti-immigrant sentiment, leading some to advocate for its replacement with more neutral terminology.
Examples of Alien
- An undocumented immigrant who has recently crossed the border into the United States could be classified as an alien.
- A foreign student studying at a U.S. university on a student visa would also be considered an alien.
- A lawful permanent resident who has been living in the United States for many years, but has not yet obtained citizenship, would be classified as an alien.
Legal Terms Similar to Alien
- Non-citizen: This term is often used as an alternative to "alien" in order to avoid the negative connotations associated with the latter.
- Immigrant: While not identical in meaning, the term "immigrant" is frequently used interchangeably with "alien" to describe non-citizens residing in a country.
- Foreign national: This term refers to someone who is not a citizen of a particular country, and is often used in the context of immigration law.