Trump urges officials to allow Afghan girls into US for robot contest

Trump urges officials to allow Afghan girls into US for robot contest
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President Trump pressed officials to allow a group of Afghan girls looking to participate in a U.S. robotics contest into the country after they were denied visas.

The move, which was first reported by Politico, came after six female Afghanistan students were denied visa applications twice, according to The Associated Press.

Afghanistan is not one of the six countries included in Trump’s travel ban.

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The girls were looking to compete in the First Global Challenge, which is set to take place in Washington, D.C., July 16 through 18.

An official told The Hill the president looked at the case in terms of the administration’s Afghanistan policy review and women’s entrepreneurship initiative, and that the White House believes the State Department and the White House followed the right procedures.

The U.S. is still battling Taliban militants who prohibited girls from attending school in the past. The Trump administration has also said it wants to empower women in entrepreneurship, an effort that has been spearheaded by first daughter Ivanka Trump.

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 has not said why the girls were denied visas. The Hill has reached out to the department for comment.