Afghan robotics team allowed to travel to United States after Trump intervenes
14 July 2017, 12:17 | Isaac Mcdaniel
Trump intervened to grant US entry to the Afghan girls robotics team. Yes, really.
The six girls from Herat, Afghanistan, were reportedly blocked from attending the robotics competition even after two rounds of interviews for a one-week visa.
The teenagers were denied access to the US under the president's executive order on travel after making multiple trips to their country's capital depsite the dangers of the war-torn region.
But the U.S. president urged a reversal following public outcry over the Afghan girls' inability to attend the event, according to USA media, with the decision announced Wednesday.
"I truly believe our greatest power is the power to convene nations, to bring people together in the pursuit of a common goal and prove that our similarities greatly outweigh our differences", FIRST Global President, former U.S. Navy Admiral and congressman Joe Sestak said in a statement.
When he came to learn of visa denials, the president urged National Security Council officials to help the group enter the US.
A six-member team of Afghan schoolgirls has been finally granted USA visas to participate in a global robotics competition, a media report said on Thursday. Afghanistan is not on the list of countries targeted by the Trump administration's travel ban, and teams from three countries that are on that list - Iran, Syria and Sudan - were granted entry.
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WASHINGTON | young Afghan girls have finally got their visas to participate in a robotics competition in Washington, d.c. from 16 to 18 July, after being refused access to the territory of the united states, announced the organizers Wednesday.
In the end, the girls were granted entry through "parole", a process by which United States Citizenship and Immigration Services may temporarily authorize otherwise ineligible visitors on humanitarian grounds or because it benefits the public.
In a tweet Wednesday, the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, said she looked forward to meeting "this brilliant team of Afghan girls".
The U.S.is still battling Taliban militants who prohibited girls from attending school in the past.
This comes after the girls were initially denied U.S visas.
The girls, all high schoolers, had constructed a ball-sorting robot to enter in the First Global Challenge, an worldwide robotics contest that aims to promote interest in science, technology, engineering and math.
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