Tags: afghanistan | girls | robotics | team | denied | visas

Afghanistan Girls Robotics Team Denied Visas to Attend Competition

Image: Afghanistan Girls Robotics Team Denied Visas to Attend Competition

Members of an Afghan girls robotics team denied entry into the United States for a competition work on their robots in Herat province of Afghanistan on July 4, 2017. (Reuters/Mohammad Shoib)

By    |   Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 04:59 PM

A robotics team of six girls from Afghanistan will have to watch their robot compete in a U.S. competition remotely after they were not given visas to enter the U.S.

The girls from Herat, Afghanistan, had their robot chosen to compete in the FIRST Global Challenge competition in Washington. They visited the U.S. Embassy in Kabul twice to try to get visas, according to The Telegraph, but were not approved.

Afghanistan is not one of the six predominantly Muslim countries listed on President Donald Trump’s recently implemented travel ban, so it isn’t clear why the girls were not given visas. Robotics teams from Syria, Iran, and Sudan, which are part of the travel ban, were given visas, the Telegraph reported.

In May, prior to the travel ban’s implementation, the U.S. State Department approved only 112 business visas from Afghanistan, compared to 256 from Syria, 780 from Iraq, and 1,091 from Iran. The State Department said it evaluates visa requests on a case-by-case basis, ABC News reported.

President of FIRST Global and former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak said the “turbulent and dynamic” war environment in Afghanistan may have prevented the visas from being granted, and that Afghans who supported the U.S. may be given precedence for limited visas, but said he didn’t know for sure why the visas weren’t granted, ABC News reported.

Sestak added he was “saddened” that the girls didn’t get visas and hoped they could view the competition through Skype.

Twitter soundly debated why the robotics team girls might have been denied and denounced the rejection.

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A robotics team of six girls from Afghanistan will have to watch their robot compete in a U.S. competition remotely after they were not given visas to enter the U.S.
afghanistan, girls, robotics, team, denied, visas
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2017-59-06
Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 04:59 PM
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