DOJ’s Bombshell Lawsuit Against SpaceX For Refusing to Hire Illegal Immigrants.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) took legal action on Thursday by initiating a lawsuit against SpaceX, the renowned rocketry enterprise established under the leadership of Elon Musk. The lawsuit alleges that the company engaged in discriminatory employment practices against individuals seeking asylum and migrants.

According to a news release from the department, the lawsuit asserts that from September 2018 to May 2022, SpaceX consistently discouraged individuals seeking asylum and refugees from submitting job applications. Further, the company declined to hire or even consider them based on their citizenship status. According to the lawsuit, this purported conduct directly violates the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The DOJ expounded that SpaceX purportedly formulated job listings that exclusively welcomed applications from individuals possessing green cards. The department has explained that this policy goes against the principles of U.S. law. Refugees who possess a legal right to reside and work in the United States have a status that endures without expiration, placing them on a parallel footing with American citizens.

Kristen Clarke, the Assistant Attorney General, stated that after a thorough investigation, it was discovered that SpaceX failed to fairly assess and employ individuals seeking asylum and refugees only because of their citizenship status. This act is a clear violation of federal laws. She emphasized the department’s intention to hold SpaceX accountable for its alleged unlawful employment practices, ensuring that individuals seeking asylum and refugees have an equitable opportunity to compete for job positions and contribute their skills to the company’s workforce.

According to Clarke, who is part of the Civil Rights Division at the DOJ, it’s crucial to prevent asylees and refugees from facing discriminatory employment practices based on their citizenship status, especially considering the many obstacles they have already overcome. The lawsuit indicates that, out of the company’s expansive roster of more than 10,000 new hires, a solitary individual identified as an asylee within their application.

In a speech delivered in 2016 at the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico, Elon Musk addressed inquiries about the predominantly American composition of his company’s workforce. Musk clarified that there seems to be some confusion regarding this matter, adding that the decision was not under their control. “If you’re working on rocket technology, that’s considered an advanced weapons technology. So even a normal work visa isn’t sufficient unless you get special permission from the secretary of defense.”

Musk underscored that SpaceX’s apparent inclination to hire individuals with green cards is not borne out of preference but is rather mandated by regulatory constraints. He believes this policy is unwise for the United States, as there are many skilled individuals from all over the world who would be valuable additions to the company. Musk added that, unfortunately, unless they obtain a green card, the company is prohibited from hiring them.

Due to SpaceX’s sensitive and security-sensitive nature, the company is bound by the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR). This policy limits foreign nationals’ involvement in sectors crucial to U.S. national security.

During an interview with CNN, an immigration attorney who specializes in export controls provided some valuable insights. The lawyer warned that SpaceX is in danger of losing its contractual agreements if it fails to comply with ITAR guidelines. The consequences of violating export control licenses are severe and come with hefty penalties.