Washington: With specifically mentioning Indians taking over the country, US President Joe Biden’s intention was to honour the incredible contribution of the Indian Americans in the field of science, said the White House on Thursday (March 11).

Speaking at a daily briefing here, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden just believes that the statement was a reflection of his belief that Indian-Americans “make a great contribution to the fabric of society.”

“I would first say that the President was just recognizing and honoring and valuing, or this was his intention, the incredible contribution of Indian-Americans to science. He was speaking to an Indian-American woman who is of course a scientist and an important part of the NASA team. And he also was, of course, recognizing the incredible contribution of his own Vice President (Kamala Harris),” Psaki said referring to the President’s interaction with Swati Mohan.

“He just believes it was a reflection of his belief that Indian-Americans make a great contribution to the fabric of society, whether it’s science or education or the government. And that was what he was trying to convey,” She added.

Biden, earlier this month, congratulated the NASA team responsible for the success of the Perseverance rover that landed on Mars earlier this month. He lauded the team at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/California Institute of Technology, including Dr Swati Mohan, the Indian-American aerospace engineer, who was one of the many people who spearheaded the development and the landing system for the rover. Biden while speaking to Dr Mohan in a video conference call said that the Indian-Americans are “taking over the country”. 

Mohan thanked Biden for interacting with them, but the President said he was honored to interact with the team.

“This is an incredible honor. Indian — of descent — Americans are taking over the country. You (Mohan), my Vice President (Kamala Harris), my speechwriter (Vinay Reddy) I tell you what. But thank you. You guys are incredible,” Biden told Dr Mohan.

Dr Mohan, who skilfully landed the spacecraft, works at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). She is one of the many Indian women scientists, engineers and missile developers, who are leaving a trail for future generations. 

On the question of a number of Indian-Americans who came to the United States as legal immigrants feeling that the Biden is not much focused on resolving the issues related to legal immigrants, rather than they are more focused on illegal immigrants, the secretary told the journalist that the scribe “must write an article” about how the president’s immigration bill proposes “a number of fixes or changes in the legal and legislative system to ensure that those issues are addressed and we’re eager to move that forward with members of both parties.”

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