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Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Afghan Female Robotics Team Finally Travel To US

Afghan Female Robotics Team Finally Travel To US

President Donald Trump helped grant the all-girl Afghan robotics team entry into the United States after their visa applications were denied twice at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, senior administration officials told Politico. Then the NSC went to the Department of Homeland Security, who approved the group through a special parole system.

The girls are expected to leave Afghanistan on Friday for Washington where the FIRST Global, an worldwide robotics challenge, will be held next week.

Officials may have been wary of granting visas to the girls for fear that they would end up staying in the USA, as other students and academics on temporary visas have done before. The girls' visa applications for the one-week trip to the USA had reportedly been blocked despite two rounds of interviews.

While many critics believed anti-Muslim sentiments buoyed by Trump policies were to blame, the exact reasons for the team being denied are unclear.

Afghanistan is not one of the six countries Trump has tried to target in his legally contested travel ban.

In a tweet Wednesday, the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, said she looked forward to meeting "this brilliant team of Afghan girls".

It still isn't clear why the girls were rejected in the first place.

Earlier, Dina Powell, Trump's deputy national security adviser for strategy, said: "We could not be prouder of this delegation of young women who are also scientists".

While the girls were initially denied visas, their robot was allowed into the United States.

Clutching Afghan flags and waving to photographers, the schoolgirls boarded a plane in Herat in western Afghanistan on Thursday afternoon to begin the long journey to Washington, where they will become the first robotics team to represent the war-torn country overseas. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the president's intervention Wednesday, July 12, 2017.

This clip describes the FIRST Global Challenge.

"All 163 teams from 157 countries have gained approval to the United States, including Iran, Sudan and a team of Syrian refugees", said Mr Sestak, a former USA navy admiral and congressman. "We want to be that child and pursue our dreams to make a difference in people's lives".

The girls wanted to show the world that Afghans could also construct a hand-made robot and they had been deeply disappointed by the initial rejections.

This is a temporary status given to a person who is otherwise ineligible to travel to a country, allowing them entry for an emergency, humanitarian objective or public interest.

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