US government suing SpaceX for hiring Americans

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The US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against SpaceX for allegedly discriminating against asylum seekers and refugees throughout the recruiting process. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, has previously stated that recruiting foreigners is prohibited under national security rules.

“From at least September 2018 to May 2022, the lawsuit alleges that 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 press release on Thursday.

According to the lawsuit, SpaceX’s job advertising have incorrectly stated for years that only US citizens or lawful permanent residents – commonly referred to as “green card holders” – could apply, despite the fact that rocket technology is protected by the State Department’s intellectual property regulations.

A SpaceX job listing for a Propulsion Technician as of Thursday warns applicants that they “must be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident of the US, protected individual,” or be able to obtain a waiver from the State Department to apply.

Musk stated in a 2016 news conference that while he would like to attract talent from other countries, State Department rules prevent him from doing so.

Under the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, refugees and asylum seekers are entitled to the same job privileges as US residents, according to the lawsuit. The previous US system of preferential admission, which openly favored immigrants from northern and western Europe, was repealed, and a yearly quota on immigration from the Western Hemisphere was set.

According to the Justice Department, the case includes a variety of positions at SpaceX, including welders, cooks, crane operators, baristas, and dishwashers. The lawsuit demands “fair consideration and back pay for asylees and refugees who were discouraged or denied employment,” according to the complaint.

In Thursday’s press release, the Justice Department called on refugees and asylum seekers who had been denied work or discouraged from applying to come forward and join the lawsuit.

Musk had not responded to the lawsuit as of Thursday afternoon. However, the tycoon has been at odds with President Joe Biden’s government since acquiring Twitter, now known as X, in October. Musk has published documents revealing a conspiracy by the White House, FBI, and other government agencies to control the flow of information on the social media platform since taking over the platform, prompting reports that the Biden administration had launched a national security investigation into the tycoon.

Musk stated on X that his business would be “filing legal action” against lefty megadonor George Soros for his backing for contentious “hate speech” legislation in Ireland and Scotland.