A team of Afghan girls who were denied entry to the U.S. to compete in a robotics competition are now going to be allowed in, thanks to … President Trump?
Yep, you read that right.
In an incredibly ironic twist, Trump reportedly urged U.S. officials to change course and allow the team of girls competing in the FIRST Global Challenge robotics competition into the country after they had previously been denied visas at least twice.
Trump reportedly became aware of the the girls’ case and asked officials at the National Security Council if there was anything that could be done.
The Department of Homeland Security eventually agreed to allow the girls in on a system called “parole,” which will allow them to remain in the U.S. for ten days, but is not technically a visa.
Parole is only given in exceptional circumstances, but officials determined there was significant public benefit to letting the girls into the U.S. for the competition, which focuses on providing clean water. It will take place next week in Washington D.C.
Given that robotics is a largely male-dominated industry in Afghanistan, the all-girls team is even more special.
Had the girls been barred entry to the U.S., they had planned to watch their robot compete over Skype, as it had been allowed to enter the country.