Many were political fugitives from their own countries, and, as stateless people, they naturally turned against the very idea of a state.
The facts are that at a time of international conflict, a tiny proportion of stateless people on the move will hit our shores.
On 6 August, the High Court found that the Migration Act authorised the Australian government to detain stateless people indefinitely, regardless of the prospect of ever being able to deport them.
But during the political upheavals she found herself a stateless person and was granted British citizenship, though she still returns to Malawi from time to time to visit her family.
He has been refused visas in Australia, but cannot return to India because the government doesn't recognise his nationality - making him a stateless person.
Richard Falk argues that the statelessness of the terrorists might make democracy or nationhood an inappropriate forum of address.
This sense of statelessness terrified him and he dreaded what might happen if the Indonesian or Malaysian police nabbed him.
The plight of many asylum-seekers, their desperation and their statelessness , has in the past been summed up by their lack of documentation.
But in a recent study two World Bank economists found a surprising side to Somali statelessness .
No people can be expected to accept a political solution that condemns them to a permanent state of poverty, statelessness and refugeehood.