For those who know me, know the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be is a Chef and better my life for myself and my family. Coming from Aurora, Illinois, 30 minutes outside of Chicago, I grew up surrounded by a lot of gangs, violence, drugs and other travesties which I had to strive to stay away from. Being that Chicago is the murder capital State of America, it was pivotal of me to try and get out to better myself to be a positive uncle, brother & son to my family. Knowing I had to get out, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona.
Whilst in Arizona I worked on numerous construction and labouring jobs to provide money for myself. But Phoenix has one of the lowest employment rates in the States and it was hard to survive. Being the persistent person I am, I strived to do better. I was lucky enough to get accepted into the La Cordon Blue Culinary School in late 2011, but sadly I was never able to attend because tragedy hit me when I was shot multiple times which left me fighting for my life. Flat lining twice on the operating table. Being a Christian man of faith and a man of God, I was blessed to survive by the Grace of God.
I was in the hospital for almost a year. I went through countless procedures in order to keep from losing my leg and part of my hand. Whilst being in rehab not only did I have to regain my strength, physically, mentally and emotionally, I also had to learn how to walk and use my hand again which took a great toll on my life. It was at that moment when I knew I had to make a major change in my life for those who depended on me.
I was given that opportunity when I moved to the beautiful country of Australia in August 2013. Since being here, I’ve earned a Diploma in Business Management as well as my Cert III in Commercial Cookery, started my Cert IV as well as working in some great kitchens. I’ve also met some of the greatest people in the world, who I’m extremely glad to call my friends. I have also travelled to beautiful countries which I never thought I’d be able to go to, such as Fiji and Bali. In short, Australia has been nothing but good to me in all aspects. Sadly, all the these wonderful things I have experienced has been taken away from me as i am currently facing deportation from this great country due to a con artist pretending to be an immigration lawyer.
In December 2016 my visa was due to be renewed so I hired an immigration lawyer to lodge the proper paperwork so I could continue my studies along with my stay in Australia. I paid her the original fee and continued to pay monthly thousands of dollars, under the assumption she was handling my case. I received emails from her stating that paperwork was lodged and documentation was needed to continue my application. As requested, I sent her every piece of information she asked for, all whilst continuing to pay my monthly fee, school fees and rent. Working with her for over a year, she told me in July 2017 I had a tribunal hearing which was later postponed to August 2017. At that point she told me that my application had gone through, and my student visa was finally accepted.
I received a phone call from Border Control on Wednesday 25th October asking me to come in for a meeting, which was very surprising. I called my lawyer and explained the situation and asked her what was going on. She asked me to reschedule the meeting to Monday as she was out of town. I then explained that immigration was persistent on me coming in as they said I was unlawfully in Australia and I needed to attend the meeting to work out the problem. I attended the meeting the next day on Thursday at which they told me that my visa wasn’t valid and they detained me sending me straight to the Maidstone Detention Centre. I continued to ring my lawyer repeatedly as well as text and email her, but I have not heard anything from her since from that day forth. I have been here for 3 weeks now. They said that the lawyer had lost her licence in 2014 and they had no record of any of my legal proceedings, appeals or tribunal records being lodged regarding my case.
Since being detained I have managed to hire a new registered immigration lawyer who is trying to fight my case, although that was hard in itself, I still have a long journey to go. I am asking friends, family, loved ones, or anyone who sympathises with my case to help me in any way they can as I could be detained for as long as it is to fight my case. There has been men in here for 4 years now, but I won’t let it take that long, that is an example of how things go in the detention centre. The funds will help support my legal fees, fighting my appeal and Immigration Visa Lodgment fees.
I love this country of Australia, it has given me the best years of my life. It has changed my life and made me a better person I would love the opportunity to be able to share the same feeling with my friends, family and my loved ones. So if there is any way you can help it would be greatly appreciated and whole heartedly loved. As a proud man it is hard to ask for donations but it would go towards legal fees for my new lawyer to fight my case, and hopefully to apply for a visa which would let me continue to stay here in Australia.
I appreciate it all those who have read this and understood my dilemma and seeking your support in terms of Love, Strength and Heartfelt Donations.
Thank you and God Bless.
Robert Rocky Robinson
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