Biden Orders DOJ To Target Elon Musk

JD Lasica from Pleasanton, CA, US, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Thursday the Justice Department sued SpaceX, which is owned by Elon Musk, over accusations that the company was discriminatory during the hiring process against refugees and asylees.

In the lawsuit the Department of Justice (DOJ) notes that the company had repeatedly discouraged refugees and asylees from applying for open positions, while also not considering their applications. The filing notes that this discriminatory practice, which is based on the citizenship status of the applicants, has been ongoing from September 2018 to May 2022 and was a violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The lawsuit specifically notes that during that period all the employees hired by the company were either lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens. However, the export control laws do not include any hiring restrictions that would have justified this practice. Moreover, both refugees and asylees are allowed to live and work within the country, without their status expiring, putting them on the same footing as the people in the groups that SpaceX hired from.

The lack of limitations means that SpaceX is capable of hiring refugees and asylees for all the roles and job openings that they would employ lawful, permanent residents and U.S. citizens. Still, as the lawsuit stated the discriminatory practices were followed by the company both for job openings that require advanced degrees and for those where such qualifications were not necessary.

The investigation by the Justice Department was launched following a complaint received from a noncitizen regarding the hiring practices of SpaceX. The DOJ had requested that all asylees or refugees who had faced such discrimination contact the Department’s Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.

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