90 Day Fiancé star Jay Smith has launched a GoFundMe in an attempt to raise money so that he can obtain a lawyer to help him secure his release from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center. Smith, who is originally from Jamaica, had been taken into ICE custody on July 3 on a Violation of a Protection from Abuse Order charge.
Titled "Help Free Jay Smith from Immigration Detention," the fundraiser was created by Smith's friend, who explained that the TLC reality star "turned himself in to authorities Tuesday night with the understanding and intent that he was to see a judge the next morning and be released."
Although the judge did release Smith on the charge, "he was immediately turned over to immigration enforcement and is being held in a jail cell as if he is a convicted criminal. Jay is sitting in jail, awaiting a hearing on wether he will be deported or be allowed to make a life for himself here in the U.S."
"They will hold him for a month or months, there's no telling how long, before even giving him the right to see a judge," the page explains, adding that Smith is hoping to raise $5,000 so that he can obtain an attorney.
"The only way for him to sooner see a judge and pretty much have basic human rights is with a good attorney. Also the only way for Jay to avoid deportation from the U.S. is with a good attorney," it reads. "Jay fears for his life if he is returned to Jamaica.. he is now seen as a traitor who has turned his back on his people and they will assume he has money since he was in America and on an American TV show so that keeps him at a continuously high threat for his safety if he is returned home."
The GoFundMe campaign, which has raised nearly $3,000, is also being promoted on Smith's Instagram account, which is being updated by the "close friend," who recently visited Smith in detention and shared an update.
According to the friend, the TLC personality is "doing everything he can to keep his spirits lifted, he's been reading a lot of books and making phone calls when he can, but he is truly sad and starting to feel depression and anxiety."
Smith had starred in Season 6 of 90 Day Fiancé, traveling from Jamaica to America to start his life with Ashley Martson, whom he had met while she was on vacation in the Caribbean. Although the duo had married in May of 2018, Martson did not file his adjustment of status, meaning that he now faces the possibility of deportation.