In law, statelessness is the lack of any nationality, or the absence of a recognized
link between an individual and any state.
The United States recognizes the following two classes of stateless persons:
De jure stateless - Persons who do not have nationality in any country under the operation of its law.
De facto stateless - Persons who are legally nationals of a country, but whose situation is similar
to those who are de jure stateless. De facto stateless persons are:
outside the country of their nationality,
denied the opportunity to return home, and
no longer enjoy the country’s protection and assistance.
Such persons are often refugees.