After Trump’s Intervention, Afghan Robotics Team Gets US Visa
After Afghanistan’s all-girls robotics team was denied entry to the US, President Donald Trump reportedly intervened to reverse the visa ban. The delegation will now attend the inaugural FIRST Global Challenge, a robotics competition in Washington DC that it has been working towards.
The team is from Herat, a city of half a million people in the western part of the country. For their visa interview, they travelled 500 miles to Kabul. They did this twice, after they were rejected on their first try. They were very disappointed to have been denied a visa, and were going to send their robot to the competition without them. They planned to speak via video conference.
After Trump got to know about the case, the Department of Homeland Security granted the team entry to the US on a system known as parole. This will let them stay in the country for up to 10 days.
“We could not be prouder of this delegation of young women who are also scientists — they represent the best of the Afghan people and embody the promise that their aspirations can be fulfilled,” said Dina Powell, Trump’s deputy national security adviser for strategy.
The team from Gambia was also denied a visa initially, but its members have also been granted the US visa. So now these girls, who faced all odds, and who have challenged the strict gender stereotypes in their country, will be able to watch their robot perform in person.