US DOJ suing Elon Musk and SpaceX for refusal to hire individuals who are not US citizens

WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Department of Justice has issued a statement announcing that they filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk’s SpaceX, alleging that it has discriminatory hiring practices when it comes to people in the US seeking asylum.

"The lawsuit alleges that, from at least September 2018 to May 2022, SpaceX routinely discouraged asylees and refugees from applying and refused to hire or consider them, because of their citizenship status, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act," the DOJ statement read.

According to Reuters, in their job posting and other statements over the past few years, SpaceX has said that federal regulations required them to hire only U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. But the Justice Department says that assertion is wrong.

The department also pointed to social media posts of Elon Musk as of the alleged discrimination, primarily a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) from June 2020. Musk posted, “U.S. law requires a green card to be hired at SpaceX, as rockets are advanced weapons technology.”

In speaking out about the lawsuit, the SpaceX CEO and owner of X, wrote that they were “told repeatedly that hiring anyone who was not a permanent resident of the United States would violate international arms trafficking law, which would be a criminal offense."

Musk also believes that the lawsuit is is just another example of the “weaponization of the DOJ for political purposes.”

But the DOJ says that the practices are a violation of asylum seeker and refugee’s civil rights. Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General with the Civil Rights Division, pointed to an investigation into SpaceX by the DOJ.

According to Clarke, it found that the company “failed to fairly consider or hire asylees and refugees because of their citizenship status and imposed what amounted to a ban on their hire regardless of their qualification, in violation of federal law."

The government is now seeking a change to the hiring practices of SpaceX and back pay for any refugee that was denied employment at the company because of their status.

But some people, like Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, are speaking out against the lawsuit.



“Only in Joe Biden’s America will you be sued by the Department of Justice for not hiring illegal immigrants,” she said.

While many responses to her post point out that there is a legal difference between illegal immigrants and refugees or asylum seekers, it can be argued that in many instances, they are one in the same.

Research by Law Enforcement Today found that there are numerous entities that define the difference between the three labels place on non-citizens, but the only legal definition we could find from a federal government source shows that most of the individuals who show up at our southern border and turn themselves in are illegal immigrants but apply for asylum.

They are then, in many instances, allowed into the country while they await an immigration hearing. They are then labeled as refugees. By US law, they are required to apply for their Lawful Permanent Resident status within one year after being admitted.

The US Department of Homeland Security website defines refugees and asylees as, “A refugee is a person outside his or her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of nationality because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. An asylee is a person who meets the definition of refugee and is already present in the United States or is seeking admission at a port of entry. “

It is also important to note that non-citizens are ineligible to work at NASA. While that restriction is allowed because NASA is a independent government agency, they do sub-contract work out to to SpaceX.

A search of civilian competitor, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, shows that they also require candidates to be a citizen or green card holder. But, pointing to the same Export Control regulations cited by SpaceX, their listings also add the verbiage of “or lawfully admitted into the U.S. as a refugee or granted asylum.”

SpaceX includes the following statement in their job postings: “To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a (i) U.S. citizen or national, (ii) U.S. lawful, permanent resident (aka green card holder), (iii) Refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157, or (iv) Asylee under 8 U.S.C. § 1158, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State."
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Comments

Michael

The definition of a US person is provided under 22 CFR § 120.62. To summarize, any individual is a US person: Who’s been granted US citizenship, Who’s a lawful permanent resident in the US, Who’s been granted the status of “protected person”, Or an employee of the US government. None of these aliens have been granted asylum by a judge as of yet. Sony law tgey are not a "PROTECTED PERSON."

Michael

The definition of a US person is provided under 22 CFR § 120.62. To summarize, any individual is a US person: Who’s been granted US citizenship, Who’s a lawful permanent resident in the US, Who’s been granted the status of “protected person”, Or an employee of the US government. None of these aliens have been granted asylum by a judge as of yet. Sony law tgey are not a "PROTECTED PERSON."

Michael

The definition of a US person is provided under 22 CFR § 120.62. To summarize, any individual is a US person: Who’s been granted US citizenship, Who’s a lawful permanent resident in the US, Who’s been granted the status of “protected person”, Or an employee of the US government. None of these aliens have been granted asylum by a judge as of yet. Sony law tgey are not a "PROTECTED PERSON."

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