Allowed in by Trump, Afghan girls robotics team lands in DC

Image Members of Afghan robotics girls team arrive to receive their visas from the U.S. embassy in Kabul

They left Herat for Kabul, and boarded a plane to Washington on Friday.

The third time's the charm for Afghanistan's all girl robotics team, who will be allowed entry into the U.S. to compete in a competition after President Trump personally intervened to reverse a decision twice denying them entry. "We applied again for the USA visa and we were rejected again".

A coalition of academic and educational groups recently wrote to the State Department about Trump's visa crackdown and said, "We are very concerned that if the proposed changes are implemented, global undergraduate and graduate students, scholars, and scientific collaborators may be discouraged from coming to the United States".

The girls will receive their visas after being told President Donald Trump personally intervened to reverse a decision by the U.S. State Department, says team manager Alireza Mehraban.

However, it soon came to light that the six were denied a visa to enter the United States, despite working tirelessly to do so.

All six girls packed into a small taxicab to head to the U.S. Embassy with their passports in hand to get their U.S. visas. He said 10 percent of Afghans who are awarded temporary visas for academic purposes in the United States or Europe defy immigration rules to remain there permanently.

"Seventeen years ago, this would not have been possible at all", said Afghan Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib.

The girls from Herat, Afghanistan, ages 14 to 16, became a cause celebre this week when news spread that their visa applications, first submitted in May, had been rejected. Teams from over 150 countries will be participating. "That is why I am most grateful to the U.S. Government and its State Department for ensuring Afghanistan, as well as Gambia, would be able to join us for this worldwide competition this year".

First Global president Joe Sestak - who had previously expressed his disappointment in the girls' visa denial - has commended the U.S. government for overturning the ban.

The Taliban, ousted by the USA -led coalition in 2001, denied schooling to girls when they ruled the war-torn country.

The girls are working on a robot that can sort balls, which will compete against 163 other machines in a tournament called the FIRST Robotics Competition.

Earlier this month, a team of girls from Afghanistan were getting ready to go to the First Global Challenge robotics competition in the United States and, in the process, making history for girls and women in the war-torn country.

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