The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched a lawsuit against Elon Musk and SpaceX for allegedly prioritizing the hiring of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. In a peculiar twist, it appears that the DOJ itself follows similar hiring practices.
The Gateway Pundit previously reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, claiming their hiring policies discriminate against refugees and asylees.
The lawsuit, filed on Thursday, 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 (INA).”
The Department of Justice said in a press release, “In job postings and public statements over several years, SpaceX wrongly claimed that under federal regulations known as ‘export control laws,’ SpaceX could hire only U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, sometimes referred to as ‘green card holders.’”
“Export control laws impose no such hiring restrictions,” the press release continued. “Moreover, asylees’ and refugees’ permission to live and work in the United States does not expire, and they stand on equal footing with U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents under export control laws. Under these laws, companies like SpaceX can hire asylees and refugees for the same positions they would hire U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. And once hired, asylees and refugees can access export-controlled information and materials without additional government approval, just like U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.”
The agency claims that SpaceX “discouraged asylees and refugees from applying for open positions, through public announcements, job applications and other online recruiting communications that excluded asylees and refugees,” “failed to fairly consider applications submitted by asylees and refugees,” and “refused to hire qualified asylee and refugee applicants and repeatedly rejected asylee and refugee applicants because of their citizenship status.”
The DOJ added, “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 Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Our investigation also found that SpaceX recruiters and high-level officials took actions that actively discouraged asylees and refugees from seeking work opportunities at the company. Asylees and refugees have overcome many obstacles in their lives, and unlawful employment discrimination based on their citizenship status should not be one of them. Through this lawsuit we will hold SpaceX accountable for its illegal employment practices and seek relief that allows asylees and refugees to fairly compete for job opportunities and contribute their talents to SpaceX’s workforce.”
Critics have been quick to point out that the DOJ’s own hiring guidelines also prioritize the employment of U.S. citizens. The department’s careers page explicitly states that being a U.S. citizen is a requirement for many of its positions, and that citizenship is preferred for others.
According to Alex Tabarrok, a professor at George Mason University, it’s common for industries that work closely with the military or deal with dual-use technologies to restrict jobs to U.S. citizens. This includes companies like SpaceX. While jobs that require security clearances are typically only available to U.S. citizens, many roles that don’t necessitate such clearances also specify U.S. citizenship as a requirement.
“Here, for example, is an ad for an engineer at Northrup Grumman in aerospace structures that does not require security clearance but advertises US Citizen only. The U.S. military, of course, mandates citizenship or a green card for enlistment, a policy that is shared by another federal employer—can you guess? Surprise. The Department of Justice,” Tabarrok wrote in his article in Marginal Revolution.
More from the outlet:
Below, for example, is an ad for a recreational specialist to work for the DOJ’s Bureau of Prisons–this is not a job involving national security!–but the ad states clearly that U.S. Citizenship is Required. Most federal government jobs, in fact, are restricted to US citizens. The Federal Reserve even requires US citizenship to get an internship.
In short, it seems that SpaceX is being singled out for punishment for a practice that is widespread in the industry and often encouraged by, sometimes required by, and usually practiced by the Federal government.
Following this revelation, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to social media to share his thoughts.
“DOJ needs to sue themselves!” he wrote. In a follow-up comment, he couldn’t contain his disbelief at the situation, adding, “I just can’t … roflmao … the irony is too much.”
I just can’t … roflmao … the irony is too much
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 26, 2023
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