Afghan girls arrive in US for robot competition

Afghan girls arrive in US for robot competition

An all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan has arrived in the United States to compete in the FIRST Global Challenge after an intervention from President Trump earlier this week.

The six young women are in the country for the inaugural FIRST Global Challenge robotics competition, a three-day competition starting Sunday at Washington D.C.'s DAR Constitution Hall.

ADVERTISEMENT

A crowd of supporters stayed past midnight at Dulles airport to welcome the team.

Pictures of the crowd were shared on Twitter by Afghanistan's embassy.

The event was attended by Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States, Hamdullah Mohib, as well as the State Department's acting assistant secretary for south and central Asian affairs, Alice Wells.

The team had twice previously been denied visas to enter the country for the competition from the State Department for undisclosed reasons. On Wednesday, Trump intervened, urging U.S. officials to grant the team access to the country.

The Department of Homeland Security allowed the students in on a parole system, which would permit them to remain in the U.S for 10 days, according to Politico.

The State Department worked incredibly well with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that this case was reviewed and handled appropriately,” Trump's Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell said in a statement.

“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. They are future leaders of Afghanistan and strong ambassadors for their country," she said.