You might have come across reports of a relatively minor international crisis that caught the attention of liberals in particular: while the U.S. has been promoting girls in STEM fields, the country didn’t see fit to issue visas to Afghanistan’s all-girl robotics team so they could attend the FIRST Global Challenge in Washington, D.C.
After quite a bit of fuss online, President Trump personally intervened so that the girls from Afghanistan could travel to the U.S. and show off their robot-building skills. Trump, of course, received approximately zero credit whatsoever for stepping in, as demonstrated perfectly by The Daily Beast’s Sam Stein:
step 1: implement policy that stops Afghan girl robotics team from entry
step 2: step in on behalf of girls
step 3: claim moral high ground
— Sam Stein (@samstein) July 13, 2017
After the visa controversy was resolved, though, the girls were the focal point of the international competition, and they found time plenty of press interviews and for a photo with Ivanka Trump outside the White House.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 19, 2017
— Karen Travers (@karentravers) July 20, 2017
All’s well that ends well, right? The State Department wouldn’t say why the team had been denied visas twice, but Politico reported that “one common reason Afghans are rejected for U.S. entry is the concern that they will overstay their visas and refuse to go back home.”
Which brings us to the robotics team from Burundi, a country in East Africa. Is seems six teens from Burundi’s team vanished after the competition, and there have been reports that two were seen crossing into Canada.
Burundi teenagers who went missing at robotics competition rumoured to have entered Canada. https://t.co/c1egyF7gNS
— Mike Lipsius (@mikelipsius) July 20, 2017
It’s not making big news in the U.S., but Africans certainly are interested. According to Reuters:
The four males and two females were last seen late on Tuesday afternoon when the robotics contest ended at the FIRST Global Challenge, police said. Authorities issued missing persons photographs of the six on Wednesday.
Two of the Burundians – Audrey Mwamikazi, 17, and 16-year-old Don Ingabire – were spotted crossing the United States border into Canada, District of Columbia police spokeswoman Margarita Mikhaylova said.
Canada’s Border Services Agency said it could neither confirm nor deny that the pair entered Canada.
So, while the whole world had its eyes trained the Afghanistan girls’ team, the teens from Burundi made a run for the border.
6 Burundi teenagers with year-long visas escape into the US, 2 seen crossing to Canada https://t.co/zdQKajuMDR
— an whale (@fivestringmedia) July 20, 2017
That can’t look good for the U.S.
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) July 20, 2017
— Eddie Rwema (@edrwema) July 20, 2017
Canada’s being awfully coy about the whole thing, which is stupid, seeing as they’ll all end up building pillow forts as guests at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s place anyway. That guy really wasn’t kidding when he issued a big welcome to refugees from around the world.
Police said the students had one-year visas. The teens all are being sought as missing people by D.C. police.
Did any of the teams happen to build drones with cameras or something similar? Tracking devices?
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President hoped officials could see their way clear to letting Afghan girls’ robotics team compete in US https://t.co/7OyIGhJsfI
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) July 14, 2017