Afghan students denied US visa to attend robot competition

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FILE – In this March 1, 2017, President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. President Trump’s revised travel ban will temporarily halt entry to the U.S. for people from six Muslim-majority nations who are seeking new visas, allowing those with current visas to travel freely, according to a […]

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Six female students from war-torn Afghanistan who had hoped to participate in an international robotics competition in the United States this month will have to watch via video link after their visas were denied — not once, but twice.

The girls wanted to show the world that Afghans can also construct a hand-made robot, but out of 162 teams participating, the Afghan team was the only one to be denied visas.

Fourteen-year-old Sumaya Farooqi says when they were first rejected — after having made the 800-kilometer (500-mile) journey to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul — they “applied again for the U.S. visa and we were rejected again.”

The U.S. State Department declined to comment on why the girls’ visa applications were denied, citing a provision that prohibits discussing individual cases.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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