2024 Election

Biden Admin SUES Elon Musk’s SpaceX For ‘Only hiring US citizens’

The Biden administration on Thursday accused Elon Musk’s rocket and satellite company SpaceX of discriminating against asylum seekers and refugees in its hiring practices.

The Justice Department is suing the company for backpay for people who were refused jobs.

‘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 Justice Department said in a statement.

The development is just another illustration of how the Biden administration and Musk have collided over the years.

Musk has regularly condemned President Joe Biden of cold-shouldering his electric vehicle company Tesla when it comes to fostering greener forms of transport. And he derided the U.S. president for declining to congratulate SpaceX on its first all-civilian mission.

At the same time, experts have cautioned that the U.S. has become increasingly dependent on the mercurial billionaire for space transport and electric vehicle charging stations.

‘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 Justice Department said in a statement

In its suit, the Justice Department said SpaceX wrongly alleged in job postings and statements that  federal regulations known as export control laws meant it could hire only U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, sometimes referred to as ‘green card holders.’

The Justice Department also pointed to online posts from the company’s billionaire owner Musk as examples of ‘discriminatory public statements.’

On June 16, 2020, Musk, who then had approximately 36 million followers on X, a social media platform previously recognized as Twitter, posted: ‘U.S. law requires at least a green card to be hired at SpaceX, as rockets are advanced weapons technology.’

SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

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‘Our investigation found that SpaceX 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,’ said U.S. Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s civil rights division.

Clarke also said SpaceX recruiters and high-level officials ‘actively discouraged’ asylum seekers and refugees from seeking work opportunities at the company.

The United States seeks fair consideration and back pay for asylum seekers and refugees who were deterred or denied employment at SpaceX due to the alleged discrimination, the Justice Department said.

The lawsuit also seeks civil penalties in an amount to be determined by court and policy changes to ensure SpaceX complies with the federal non-discrimination mandate going forward.

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.

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