Elon Musk’s rocket and satellite business SpaceX is facing legal action from the US Justice Department due to claims of biased employment practices against immigrants and asylum seekers. Accusing SpaceX of breaking the Immigration and Nationality Act by preventing refugees and asylees from applying for jobs and refusing to hire or consider them based on their citizenship status, the lawsuit was filed on Thursday. Between September 2018 through May 2022, according to the lawsuit, SpaceX allegedly falsely said that hiring only U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents was mandated by export control requirements.

Public declarations, employment advertisements, and even remarks from Elon Musk’s social media accounts have been cited by the Justice Department as proof of SpaceX’s discriminatory actions. The lawsuit included a June 2020 tweet from Musk stating that because of SpaceX’s work on cutting edge rocket technology, recruiting anyone who isn’t a permanent resident of the United States would break international arms trafficking legislation.

In his social media response to the lawsuit, Elon Musk called it the “weaponization of the DOJ for political purposes.” He claimed that SpaceX was aware that employing non-permanent residents may violate international arms trafficking regulations, making it illegal.

According to Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, SpaceX “actively discouraged” asylees and refugees from seeking employment opportunities and “failed to fairly consider or hire asylees and refugees because of their citizenship status” according to an investigation. The lawsuit seeks policy changes to guarantee future compliance with non-discrimination standards, as well as equitable consideration, back pay, and civil fines for those affected by the alleged discrimination.

The complaint against SpaceX emphasizes the need for fair employment opportunities for all people, regardless of citizenship status, and the continuous efforts to resolve discrimination in hiring procedures. The issue may have ramifications for SpaceX as well as more general conversations about equity and diversity in the workplace as the judicial process develops.