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United States Government Politics

Afghan Girl Roboticists Denied US Visas (bbc.com) 399

Three anonymous readers share a similar report: An all-girl team of roboticists will watch their creations compete in a US competition via Skype after being denied visas to enter the country. President Trump recently ordered a ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries, but Afghanistan was not included on the list. Teams from Iran, Sudan and Syria -- which are on the list -- did manage to enter the country. The six-member team watched their ball-sorting robot compete in Washington DC via a video link from their hometown of Herat, in western Afghanistan. "We still don't know the reason why we were not granted visas, because other countries participating in the competition have been given visas," Fatemah Qaderyan, 14, told Reuters.
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Afghan Girl Roboticists Denied US Visas

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  • by cahuenga ( 3493791 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @09:47AM (#54747073)

    Welcome to the DeEnlightenment.

    What an embarrassment this country is becoming.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Welcome to the DeEnlightenment.

      The Endullenment.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not knowing the reason for their denial you assume the worst? What is more embarrassing is your virtue signaling without all the facts.

      • by Nexion ( 1064 )

        "Not knowing the reason for their denial you assume the worst? What is more embarrassing is your virtue signaling without all the facts." - AC

        I have to agree with AC here. We don't really know why they were denied and there are many good reasons they might have been. Perhaps even one of them might have been a security risk. It sounds silly to think of a bright young woman being such, but far younger impressionable minds have been manipulated into doing terrible things.

        Since we do not know exactly why they w

        • by aicrules ( 819392 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @10:19AM (#54747331)
          This is at least the fourth story I've seen posted here where the "muslim ban" is referenced while in the same article it specifically states that the travel ban has nothing to do with why this happened. Such a BS biased tactic on the part of the editing staff both here and at the various sites that reported this.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Rockoon ( 1252108 )
            The thing is, the left doesnt understand that when they open with dishonesty they can never trick new people into believing them.

            Nobody gives a fuck what the left has to say any longer. They even tried to convince Californians that they wanted single-player health-care, then promptly buried it in committee.

            These are the same people that, when there was suddenly a chance of legislation passing that would allow cheaper medicine being imported into the country (because several Republicans at the last minut
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Except both sides are dishonest. Don't act like one side is honest and the other isn't. I see BS from every direction.

              Give up political parties, be an independent and think for yourself.

              • by e3m4n ( 947977 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @12:26PM (#54748407)

                you should have not posted as AC, because too few people actually realize this. They constantly get fed bullshit from one side that promptly blames the other. Right now I'm seeing this to a disproportionate degree from the left, but its always there. Since just before the election I've seen claims that the right will bring about world war 3, enslave billions, starve entire countries, cause the plague, famine, the apocalypse,.. you name it. Then the media gives them a voice to spread their fearmongering to the extent that people believe this horshit so much that they act out in pure, unadulterated violence. The media does nothing to tone down the rhetoric, instead they fan the flames, despite the threats of assasination, and exile. Then suddenly someone makes a video gif of trump punching a CNN logo and NOW SUDDENLY the media goes on and on about professionalism and how its not cool to threaten the press. To hell with that. They said nothing as other people have been threatened, even shot. They even were caught rejoicing when that shooter shot up the baseball practice.

                The only solution is to eliminate a 2 party system. Polarization and a 50/50 divide where people believe one side as the epitome of good while the other the bastion of evil is Toxic to this country.

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              You're not wrong, I just don't know why you're singling out Democrats and the Left. Republicans and the Right are at least as full of shit.

              Or do you just not ever speak ill of the home team?

        • My stepdaughter is Chinese, and still lives in Shanghai. Her first two tourist visa applications to come visit us in the US were denied because the official birth registration hospital had closed, and confirmation of her birth certificate was nearly impossible. Thankfully we found an alternate means to get an official copy - and then it was issued. She came, she visited, and she's back in Shanghai... ;) If you cannot prove who you are, getting a visa - even a tourist one - is nearly impossible. Given t
    • by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @10:08AM (#54747225)

      Of course, the same thing could have (and did) happen under the Obama administration years ago, it's just you didn't hear about it when it did, because there wasn't much political capital to gain by reporting on it. In fact, the summary itself undercuts the "xenophobia" narrative: why would the US let in teams from Syran, Iran, etc. if xenophobia was the driving motivator? Any time you apply for a visa to any country, there's a chance it'll be rejected. The US system in particular can be a bit capricious, which is a problem, but it's more of a bureaucratic problem, not a prejudicial one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @09:49AM (#54747087)

    Visitor visas are weird creatures. Even under ideal circumstances, with good jobs and excellent ties to their native country, about half of them are denied (or more) at certain embassies. It's entirely at the mercy of the consular officer, and this probably had nothing to do with the travel ban. It was probably a CO being skittish.

  • It is possible that the reason is unrelated to Thr Trump Ban. many times people from these particular type of shit-hole countries get a visa of one type or another and then just dissapear into an expat community.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @09:58AM (#54747143)

      Exactly. The consular officer probably had concerns about them not returning to Afghanistan (or perhaps their chaperone) and that is then most likely explanation. Visitor visas are not a right, contrary to what many in the tech community seem to think. They require a finding by the consular officer that the visitor has sufficient ties to their native country that they will return to it at the end of their stay. A child with no job, parents with a less than ideal situation, in a devastated country, would have a hard time establishing this, and it gets worse if they are bringing their parents as a chaperone. Sadly, people get denied visitor visas everyday. It is part of life in a non-visa waiver country. It isn't just muslim countries.

  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @09:53AM (#54747117)

    "We still don't know the reason why we were not granted visas, because other countries participating in the competition have been given visas,"

    Most likely the usual reasons: either, they didn't demonstrate that they had enough money to stay in the US, or there was doubt about their ability or desire to leave the US once granted entry. Same reason EU countries frequently deny entry.

    After all, the US does seem to have difficulties removing people who overstay their visas or enter illegally.

    • by Nikkos ( 544004 )

      Or they simply didn't do their paperwork right. Perhaps they chose the wrong type of visa, or waited until the last minute.

      Unfortunately the US government usually doesn't give more than vague reasons for denial.

      • The DMV told me a deed isn't valid proof of my address, but they excepted a receipt from the post office when I had my mail forwarded. I could easily have my mail forwarded to a relatives house while traveling for an extended period, I know I did it before when I was traveling for about a year.

        Who knows what crazy things appear on the visa form.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      And yet the possibility of a valid reason is doubted.

      That's the problem with establishing a poor record, you aren't trusted to make even earnest decisions.

  • WebEx FTW (Score:2, Offtopic)

    >> The six-member team watched their ball-sorting robot compete in Washington DC via a video link from their hometown of Herat, in western Afghanistan

    In related news, my company refused to fly my Indian overseas coders to the US for a week to watch the software they contributed to run for the first time on a monitor in the data center. I would think that fellow environmentalists would be happy that we didn't have to emit the carbon to ship a team of meatspace bodies halfway across the world.
  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @10:01AM (#54747165) Journal

    President Trump recently ordered a ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries, but Afghanistan was not included on the list.

    So it has nothing to do with Trump's ban on those countries has it?

    US immigration is a law unto itself and usually pretty arbitrary. I realise a lot of the world's problems are Trump's fault, but not all of them are.

    • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @10:13AM (#54747281) Journal

      I realise a lot of the world's problems are Trump's fault, but not all of them are.

      Trump: "Hold my beer."

    • Immigration law was not involved. This was about travel visas, not working visas, education visas, or immigration visas. I don't know that Trump is to blame, but his failure to nominate sufficient state department staff could have an impact on this sort of thing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They aren't blaming it on Trump. That line is in there to make sure the reader knows it's not because of the ban. Take that line out and you'd be complaining it isn't in there giving the impression that it is blaming Trump.

      For a person that complains that others are easily offended you are quite easy to offend. I bet you were one of the flaming Trumpsters that got upset when NPR tweeted the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, because it promoted revolution against Trump.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It's likely due to pressure from the Trump administration to quietly deny visas to people from countries like Afghanistan, while not being an official ban.

      We have something similar in the UK. Technically it is possible for people to bring their spouses here on a spouse visa, but in practice the Home Office does everything in its power to stop them. Losing documentation, waiting until the last moment to send replies so that the applicant doesn't have time to appeal, telling people that they must leave the co

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @10:01AM (#54747167)

    Entry into a foreign country is not a right.

    These girls did not have any of their rights violated. They applied for visas; they were declined. It happens all the time. It happens to foreigners applying for visas in the US; it happens to Americans applying for visas elsewhere.

    In addition, their gender is irrelevant. This information has only been included to incite more outrage from those who feed off of left-wing identity politics.

    There is no story here except for the one that professional victims and their allies are trying to create.

    • In addition, their gender is irrelevant. This information has only been included to incite more outrage from those who feed off of left-wing identity politics.

      I tried to *jokingly* make that point above & got buried. Glad to see someone's modding up common sense . I might have jinxed you though.

  • The US armed forces have been fighting an unwinnable war in Afghanistan for 16 years. Many people in Afghanistan hate them and wish they were gone.

    Military robotics is a leading-edge field.

    Hmmmmm.

    https://www.amazon.com/Gone-To... [amazon.com]

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      Most Afghanis hate the Taliban and wish them gone. They aren't leaving either.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @10:15AM (#54747295)

    ...Then I saw little Tiffany. I'm thinking, y'know, eight-year-old white girl, middle of the ghetto, bunch of monsters, this time of night with quantum physics books? She about to start some shit, Zed. She's about eight years old, those books are WAY too advanced for her. If you ask me, I'd say she's up to something...

  • Does anyone know how to make a policy that allows visits from legitimate gadget makers while perfectly screening out anyone who might make a bomb instead? Please post the details here.

  • Travelers from a country not included in the travel ban can't enter the US and we have no idea why.

    Has Slashdot resorted to printing articles simply to take up space?

  • Although denying these students visas accomplishes nothing in that respect.

    Probably soured the entire team on the US is about all they accomplished with this dumb move.

  • It's a *team* of girls. And, since the robot is made of a choice of parts from an explicit list, there's no hidden weapons in it.

    ObDisclosure: my stepson's First team made it to the semi-finals a couple of years ago.

    No, this is put "they're Muslims, we don't want them, we read their application the same way that the right-wing slashdotters read the story."

  • So, basically... we in America are afraid of school girls. Seems accurate.

  • Please TAKE A HIKE with your cherry-picked example for bleeding hearts, state-run BBC new service.

    Liberals may have had few boundaries established for them by their parents, but I'm afraid their ignorance and lack of discipline cannot be allowed to prevent our entire civilization from establishing boundaries.

    And by "Liberals" I mean almost all "conservatives" as well. Our civilization is being raped from the inside.

  • Nobody ever got fired for saying NO.

  • President Trump recently ordered a ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries, but Afghanistan was not included on the list. Teams from Iran, Sudan and Syria -- which are on the list -- did manage to enter the country.

    And

    "We still don't know the reason why we were not granted visas, because other countries participating in the competition have been given visas," Fatemah Qaderyan, 14, told Reuters.

    So obviously it's because of the Trump travel ban EO, right?

    Apparently no forigeners were ever prevented from entering the US without an explaination before Trump took office, right?

    This entire story boils down to "a handful of Afghan girls were not granted visas to the US, we don't know why".

  • So a story that has nothing to do with Trumps travel ban (which by the way worked properly, allowing in non-threat robotics teams from even counties on the watch list), yet somehow this is Trumps fault? Since the other teams who WERE from watchlist countries managed to get in, I suspect that this team couldn't make it because they put in their travel applications late or didn't pay the processing fee or some other mundane thing along those lines, but the alt-left media and their lap dogs here on slashdot a

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      yet somehow this is Trumps fault?

      It's his administration.

      Whatever happened to "The buck stops here"?

      • And has nothing to do with the travel ban, since people from Iran, Sudan and Syria were able to participate. Those countries are on the travel ban. See how that works. You might want to ask the State Department why they were denied access, but Trump's travel ban was not the cause.
  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @01:19PM (#54748909)
    I used to help at an English school in Korea, which also put together travel packages for the teachers and students to visit the U.S. This was back in the days before the automatic 90-day travel visa [dhs.gov] for holders of S. Korean passports.

    The children, males, and older (married) Korean women had no problem getting travel visas. But we had a high percentage of rejections for young females. Our theory was that the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service thinks young, unmarried women want to visit the U.S. in hopes of finding a husband, and obtaining U.S. citizenship that way. So it gives them a higher bar to hurdle if they apply for a tourist visa.

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