The Alien and Sedition Acts were a series of four laws passed by the U.S. Congress in 1798 amid widespread fear that war with France was imminent. The four laws – which remain controversial to this day – restricted the activities of foreign residents in the country and limited freedom of speech and of the press. Signed into law by President John Adams in 1798, the Alien and Sedition Acts consisted of four laws passed by the Federalist-controlled Congress as America prepared for war with France. These acts increased the residency requirement for American citizenship from five to fourteen years, authorized the president to imprison or deport aliens considered “dangerous to the peace and safety