The Department of Justice is suing Elon Musk’s SpaceX for not hiring migrants before Americans — but is also ignoring many hiring managers who discriminate against Americans.
President Joe Biden’s deputies are “bullying employers who are trying to do the right thing — avoid hiring illegal workers — and are ignoring employers who are flagrantly discriminating against Americans,” said Jessica Vaughan, the policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies.
“They’re working harder to give illegal aliens access to jobs than they are to give to protect Americans’ access to jobs,” she said, adding,”This is entirely consistent with the approach of the Biden administration to tip the playing field in the favor of workers from abroad so that American workers are always going uphill.”
Biden’s deputies defended the 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,” said a statement from the radical progressive Assistant Attorney General, Kristen Clarke.
The agency’s lawsuit asks the judge to favor migrants over better-qualified Americans, by “Order[ing] SpaceX to hire [foreign] applicants who were victims of the discriminatory practices alleged in this Complaint and were qualified for employment.”
Federal law says hiring managers cannot unfairly exclude legal migrants who have been given asylum or refugee status by government agencies. In practice, that legal status is rare because it is short-lived and is quickly converted into green cards and then into citizenship.
The company only hired one such person from 2018 to 2022, says the lawsuit:
According to data SpaceX provided to the federal government, from September 2018 to May 2022, out of more than 10,000 hires, SpaceX hired only one individual who was an asylee and identified as such in his application. SpaceX hired this asylee approximately four months after IER notified the company of its investigation. From September 2018 to May 2022, SpaceX did not hire any individuals who were refugees and identified as such in their applications.
The complaint cited a tweet from SpaceX owner Elon Musk:
On June 16, 2020, SpaceX’s CEO, who then had approximately 36 million followers on X, a social media platform formerly known as Twitter, posted, “U.S. law requires at least a green card to be hired at SpaceX, as rockets are advanced weapons technology.”
American companies need to be very careful about workers’ legal status and about forged documents, especially in high-tech jobs where small mistakes can have large costs, and in industrial jobs where small mistakes can kill or injure Americans, said Vaughan
“It used to be that these [federal discrimination] cases were handled with counseling,” said Vaughan. But Biden’s officials are trying to “intimidate employers into not asking questions and just accepting what the alien provides in terms of [possibly forged] documentation and to just look the other way.”
However, the Biden-run department only gives wrist-slaps to companies that discriminate against competent and honest Americans, Vaughan said.
In August 2022, the DOJ fined a Texas company $4,250 for importing visa workers instead of hiring qualified American workers. The company also to to pay $14,1164 in back pay. In May, the agency announced a tiny $3,855 settlement with a U.S.-based company that excluded Americans from technology jobs.
Another company was fined $25,000 for anti-American discrimination in six jobs. In July 2022, the Department imposed a fine of only $12,000 on a Virginia-based company named Technology Hub Inc.. for excluding Americans from white-collar jobs.
The IT cases were only brought after a now-deceased Florida tech expert pushed the complaints through lower-level legal hurdles.
Yet the agency eagerly imposes heavy fines on companies where managers try to make sure illegal migrants are not taking the jobs sought by Americans, and Biden’s deputies invite millions of illegal migrants to rush into U.S. jobs.
In January 2023, for example, the agency:
determined that Masterson Staffing routinely 1) required non-U.S. citizens to provide more, different, or specific Form I-9 documents, because of their citizenship or immigration status, and 2) requested more documents than necessary … Under the terms of the settlement, Masterson Staffing will pay a civil penalty of $250,000 to the United States, and make $100,000 available for a back pay fund to compensate victims of Masterson Staffing’s alleged discriminatory practices.
In October 2022, the agency fined another staffing company $300,000 for checking job-seekers identities:
The department’s investigation determined that PMM (Professional Maintenance Management) routinely required specific documents from newly-hired non-U.S. citizens to prove they had permission to work in the United States. Specifically, the department found that PMM asked lawful permanent residents to show their permanent resident cards (sometimes known as “green cards”), and asylees and refugees to show their employment authorization documents (sometimes known as “work permits”), to prove their permission to work. At the same time, PMM allowed U.S. citizens to choose from among various acceptable document types.
Under the terms of the settlement, PMM will pay a civil penalty of $300,000 to the United States. Additionally, PMM will train staff on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, change its policies, and be subject to departmental monitoring for a three-year period.
Biden’s deputies are “penalizing employers that are trying not to hire illegal workers — or workers who may be using fake documents — instead of prioritizing, penalizing employers who are bypassing U.S. workers,” said Vaughan.
“We need to think about reforming the way verification occurs and putting [responsibility] on the federal government instead of employers,” she said.
The federal E-Verify system is helping employers by providing government-backed verification of workers’ legal status, she said. “That’s why employers who use it like it because they’re not making the decision or the judgment on whether the workers are authorized — the government is doing it.”
But federal agencies “are using resources and the power of government to go after employers who are trying to do the right thing instead of turning their attention to employers who are deliberately flouting the laws on hiring illegal workers,” she said.