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Today, the Immigration clerk who was centrally involved in processing the passport application for the infamous Won Hong Kim testified in public for the first time. Erwin Robinson is no longer employed at the Immigration Department, having been suspended and then transferred to multiple departments leading to his resignation, but he knows a lot about what goes on at Immigration. In particular, he is very knowledgeable about the Won Hong Kim fiasco because while employed at the Immigration Robinson was the data entry clerk who entered Kim’s bio-data in the system and passed on the application for approval. The Kim file and passport printed are filled with discrepancies, featuring principally that Kim was in a Taiwan jail at the time and could not have personally applied for the passport as required by immigration laws. So what transpired inside the Immigration Department for Robinson to carry through with the application? That’s what the Senate hearing tried to find out today.


Screen_Shot_2017-03-22_at_8.17.08_PMErwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“I understand why all fingers point at me because am the person that did the data.  On that day it was signed by the counter supervisor, it’s accepted by one person then its checked again by a counter supervisor who is an officer at a higher rank and then all that information is sent to me then I enter the information and I check to make sure everything is in order, I did that, I wen the normal process; you enter the information, you take the picture and when it came back to…”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Special Senate Select Committee


“So you took the picture whose picture did you took?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“I just know that I took a picture of a man that is all I can say, like I wasn’t thinking about it the day to look at details cause we were going through by I don’t know if they set me up on a level that they put somebody there for that reason.  When you are applying at the front desk you have to be there with your application, somebody just can’t give your application you have to be there with your application so the man was there with the application when it came to me I did my job I guess maybe I probably never take into consideration because when we doing like special favors specifically for ministers or whatever they get done a little quicker…”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Special Senate Select Committee


“So you were doing this for Minister Penner?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“Not specifically for him he was the minister that came in on that day that brought in the guy.”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Special Senate Select Committee


“Were you aware of this, that minister Penner wanted this to be done?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“Yes sir I was aware.”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Special Senate Select Committee


“So I want to get this clear, you took a picture of an individual, did you get any chance to look at that picture afterwards?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“No Sir because when we put in the information is not like you are going back to go check it was like do that one and get that done and then you continue doing the normal work for the day you just go through it you don’t really thinking on that level like when whichever minister would come in we would try get their work done as quick as possible just because they don’t really like to wait and stuff like that.”


Chairman Aldo Salazar – Special Senate Select Committee


“Do you recall what he was wearing?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“I just remember him wearing a suit.”


Senator Mark LIzarraga –Member Special Senate Select Committee


“So in all cases when you were capturing data you had to have a live person in front of you and you had a live person in front of you on that day, a Chinese person in a coat?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“Yes Sir”


Robinson was not convincing the Committee that easily. So, in an attempt to refresh some of his memory and get answers he was given an actual copy of the photo that ended up in Kim’s passport, which shows evidence that it is a photo of a picture and impossibly any that could have been taken at the Immigration office.


Chairman Aldo Salazar - Member, Senate Select Committee


“The other one, Wong Hong Kim?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“Yes sir”


Chairman Aldo Salazar - Member, Senate Select Committee


“You see anything different about it?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“Well like I said it does look a little different from the others.”

 

Chairman Aldo Salazar - Member, Senate Select Committee


“You see there is a shadow?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“Yes sir”


Chairman Aldo Salazar - Member, Senate Select Committee


“Looking at it on the right under the neck as if the light is coming from his right, the source of light is from his right and not directly in front of him?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“Yes sir”


Chairman Aldo Salazar - Member, Senate Select Committee


“That is out of sync with what you would understand to be the rest, right and the image is a bit larger than the rest as well?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“Yes sir”


Chairman Aldo Salazar - Member, Senate Select Committee


“But this is the person you said you photographed?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“I remembered doing the photo that day…”


Chairman Aldo Salazar - Member, Senate Select Committee


“This is the photo that is in the system that you said you took?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“Yes sir”


Senator Elena Smith - Member, Senate Select Committee


“Do you recall that the person whose picture you took would you be able to recall that that person who came to you looks the same as the picture that you saw?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“I would not be able to recall that specific picture but like I said I do recall taking a picture of someone that day.”

 

Senator Revered Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“Do you know why you are here this afternoon, what is it you think you are here for?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“I believe that I am here because I had that specific job on that day when that happened.”


Senator Revered Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“And in your technical understanding what would you tell us you think happened that caused this?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“In my professional opinion I understand where everything looks shady and for me when it started I felt the same way because it was my name being slandered so I asked Mr. Hulse at the time how did this even get to me because this person had a nationality certificate which are the things that we checked for so if anything was missing I would not have done it and these are things that came from there and at the time I told him that he told me not to worry about that that was not my concern as much as I was trying to find out just like them what had happened to me rather than try to find out what happened to me they were against me.”


Senator Revered Ashley Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“So you would surmise that whatever happened was above you?”


Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I


“Yes Sir, because at the end of the day how would I be a link to somebody that I don’t even know, like something wrong there like from the time it happened I knew this was bigger than me.”

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