Things That Matter

With Open Arms, Mexico Welcomes Five Women On The Afghan Robotics Team To Give Them Safe Refuge

With the collapse of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan and the country’s takeover by the hardline Taliban, tens of thousands of Afghan citizens have been attempting to flee the country. As the U.S. has airlifted them out, Mexico has promised to take in as many refugees as it can handle.

One group of women – from an all-girls robotics team – have just arrived in the country after fleeing their uncertain future back home. As the August 31 deadline for the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan quickly approaches, Mexico says we can expect to see more refugees resettles in the country.

Mexico welcomes all-girls robotics team from Afghanistan.

Five members from the prestigious Afghanistan women’s robotics team, Afghan Dreamers, are now safe and sound in Mexico, after a long journey fleeing the advancing Taliban in Afghanistan. The group made international headlines in 2017 after the U.S. denied them a visa to travel there for a robotics competition. The young women had also started to work on a low-cost ventilator as the Coronavirus pandemic ravaged their native Afghanistan.

With the recent arrival of the Taliban, these young women between the ages of 12 and 18 made an international appeal to be able to leave a country that had become unrecognizable to them.

“We give you the warmest welcome to Mexico,” Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister Martha Delgado said on Tuesday evening as she greeted them during a news conference at Mexico City’s international airport.

Members of the team thanked the government for saving their lives and giving them an opportunity in Mexico.

“We are happy to be here,” Fatemah Qaderyan one member of the team said during a press conference. “From now on we will have opportunities for many more achievements in our lives,” she added.

According to Mexican officials, their safe arrival in Mexico was made possible by an “extensive international effort and coordination from a group of volunteers.” And we are so grateful that they’re safely in Mexico where they’re being provided with 180-day humanitarian visas as well as shelter, food, and other important resources.

Mexico also helped evacuate several Afghan families, including Afghans who worked for The New York Times.

Mexico also recently welcomed a group of Afghans who worked for The New York Times, along with their families. In fact, there were 24 families in all who Mexico helped make an urgent escape from Kabul as the Taliban asserts control.

According to The New York Times, Mexican officials have been able to cut through the bureaucratic red tape of their immigration systems, unlike officials in the U.S. This has allowed the country to quickly provide important travel documents that have allowed so many Afghans to leave the country.

They’re also being given humanitarian visas that allow them to stay in Mexico while they explore their options in the United States or elsewhere.

Mexico has pledged to help those fleeing the Taliban.

Since the first signs of the failed mission in Afghanistan, Mexico has made it clear that it would do its part at welcoming as many refugees as possible. On August 18, the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the country had begun “processing of the first refugee applications of Afghan citizens, especially women and girls who have requested it,” with the aid of Guillermo Puente Ordorica, ambassador of Mexico in Iran.

Mexico sprung into action as soon as the U.S. and coalition forces began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan ahead of the August 31 deadline. Although the massive evacuation mission is still underway, with some 30,000 people being evacuated each day, it remains unknown if the U.S. will be able to evacuate everyone who is entitled to leave the country.

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