Elon Musk slams DOJ’s SpaceX lawsuit

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk speaks with Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, during the Ira C. Eaker Distinguished Speaker Presentation in the Academy's Arnold Hall on April 7, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Trevor cokley)

Elon Musk shared his criticism of a lawsuit that the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed against SpaceX, which alleged that the private space company “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).” 

As per the DOJ’s complaint, SpaceX wrongly claimed that federal laws and regulations required the company to hire only US citizens and green card holders for its operations. The DOJ argued that asylums and refugees are legally permitted by the federal government to live and work in the country without expiration. Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division explained the DOJ’s case. 

“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… 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,” Clarke noted. 

Elon Musk, for his part, responded to the lawsuit on X, reiterating his previous point that SpaceX has been instructed in the past to only hire permanent residents of the United States. Musk’s statement seems justifiable considering the nature of SpaceX’s business, which involves the launch of sensitive machinery into space

“SpaceX was told repeatedly that hiring anyone who was not a permanent resident of the United States would violate international arms trafficking law, which would be a criminal offense. We couldn’t even hire Canadian citizens, despite Canada being part of NORAD! This is yet another case of weaponization of the DOJ for political purposes,” Musk wrote in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. 

Musk also responded positively to posts criticizing the DOJ’s lawsuit. These included a post from Professor of Economics at George Mason U Alex Tabarrok, who observed that the DOJ is suing Musk and SpaceX for focusing their hiring on US citizens and permanent residents, when the DOJ itself is also restricting its applicants to US citizens only. In his response. Musk noted that the “DOJ needs to sue themselves!” and, in a follow-up post, the CEO noted that “the irony is too much.” 

In an interview with FOX Business‘ The Evening Edit, former DOJ civil rights attorney Roger Severino noted that the lawsuit against SpaceX is a “joke,” and seemingly a pointed attack at Musk himself. Severino’s interview can be viewed below. 

The DOJ’s complaint against SpaceX can be viewed below.

DOJ Spacex Complaint by Simon Alvarez on Scribd

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Elon Musk slams DOJ’s SpaceX lawsuit
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