The Department of Justice (DOJ) has recently set its sights on Elon Musk’s SpaceX, raising concerns among conservative analysts and free-market proponents. The government’s move appears to many as a form of political targeting rather than a straightforward legal action.
SpaceX has been an example of innovation and success in the space industry. Under Elon Musk’s leadership, the company has achieved remarkable milestones, including launching numerous missions to the International Space Station and developing the reusable Falcon rockets.
However, it seems that this success has attracted the attention of the Biden regime in ways that are concerning for supporters of free enterprise.
The DOJ’s focus on SpaceX is reportedly related to allegations of hiring practices that are said to be discriminatory against non-U.S. citizens. The case hinges on a complaint filed by a non-U.S. citizen who alleges that he was denied a position at SpaceX due to his citizenship status. Federal law requires companies working on projects involving sensitive technology to prioritize hiring U.S. citizens, but the complainant argues that SpaceX’s policies are too restrictive.
Critics of the DOJ’s move against SpaceX see it as an overreach and an attempt to stifle a company that has been at the forefront of ‘private-sector’ space exploration. Some even go so far as to suggest that the administration is using legal means to wage a political battle against Musk, who has been an outspoken critic of government bureaucracy and overregulation.
The conservative viewpoint emphasizes the importance of allowing the free market to thrive without undue interference from the government. SpaceX’s achievements have not only advanced technology but have also brought jobs and economic growth. Any political targeting against such a company could send a chilling message to other entrepreneurs and innovators who may be considering entering this burgeoning field.
There is also concern that this move by the DOJ is part of a larger pattern of using governmental power to suppress or control companies that don’t align with the regime’s ideologies. This perception, whether true or not (it is), erodes trust in government institutions and can lead to a polarized and contentious environment.
It remains to be seen how the legal battle between SpaceX and the DOJ will unfold. What is clear, however, is that this situation is more than a mere legal dispute; it’s a symbol of a larger debate about the role of government in regulating business and the extent to which political motivations can shape those regulations.
From the Biden Regime’s Department of Justice release:
Asylees and Refugees With Relevant Information Should Contact the Justice Department
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit today against Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) for discriminating against asylees and refugees in hiring. The lawsuit 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).
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. 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.
“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.”
The department’s lawsuit alleges that SpaceX discriminated against asylees and refugees based on citizenship status at multiple stages of the hiring process. For example:
- 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.
- SpaceX failed to fairly consider applications submitted by asylees and refugees.
- SpaceX refused to hire qualified asylee and refugee applicants and repeatedly rejected asylee and refugee applicants because of their citizenship status.
- SpaceX hired only U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, from September 2018 to September 2020.
SpaceX recruits and hires for a variety of positions, including welders, cooks, crane operators, baristas and dishwashers, as well as information technology specialists, software engineers, business analysts, rocket engineers and marketing professionals. The jobs at issue in the lawsuit are not limited to those that require advanced degrees.
Asylees and refugees are migrants to the United States who have fled persecution. To obtain their status, they undergo thorough vetting by the United States government. Under the INA, employers cannot discriminate against them in hiring, unless a law, regulation, executive order or government contract requires the employer to do so. In this instance, no law, regulation, executive order or government contract required or permitted SpaceX to engage in the widespread discrimination against asylees or refugees that the department’s investigation found, as explained in the complaint.
Because SpaceX works with certain goods, software, technology and technical data (referred to here as export-controlled items), SpaceX must comply with export control laws and regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and the Export Administration Regulations. Under these regulations, asylees, refugees, lawful permanent residents, U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals working at U.S. companies can access export-controlled items without authorization from the U.S. government. Therefore, these laws do not require SpaceX to treat asylees and refugees differently than U.S. citizens or green card holders. Find more information here on how employers can avoid discrimination when complying with export control requirements.
The United States seeks fair consideration and back pay for asylees and refugees who were deterred or denied employment at SpaceX due to the alleged discrimination. The United States also seeks civil penalties in an amount to be determined by the court and policy changes to ensure it complies with the INA’s nondiscrimination mandate going forward.
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