An ongoing crisis along the U.S. southern border has caused many Americans to fear for their safety amid a spike in crime throughout the region.
For one septuagenarian rancher in Arizona, the threat hit close to home late last month. According to George Alan Kelly, an undocumented immigrant trespassed on his property, and, in accordance with the state’s “Stand Your Ground” provisions, he sought to protect his family and property by firing at the intruder.
The migrant died from his injuries and Kelly is being held behind bars with bond set at $1 million as he awaits a trial for related criminal charges.
Supporters have attempted to help him raise the money needed for his release, in part by establishing a GoFundMe page — but that company has since removed it, citing its ban on fundraisers benefiting individuals facing charges of violent crime.
Kelly, who has reportedly dealt with previous incidents involving undocumented immigrants crossing onto his land, insists that it is vital for him to return to his ranch so he can help his wife take care of their property.
“She’s there by herself … nobody to take care of her, the livestock, or the ranch,” he said. “And I’m not going anywhere. I can’t come up with a million dollars.”
Without the major platform that GoFundMe can provide, organizers have launched similar fundraisers on competing sites including GiveSendGo. That platform has grown in popularity among conservatives who say the more prominent platform operates with a liberal bias.
https://t.co/HJ1oLeY0ra Free Fundraising is what we do. Free Hope is why we do it. pic.twitter.com/HTELtkEbAv
— GiveSendGo (@GiveSendGo) April 8, 2021
As GiveSendGo co-founder Heather Wilson explained, cases like Kelly’s are exactly why the site exists — “to allow people to have a voice and gain support in times of need.”
The smaller platform has agreed to host fundraisers for other controversial causes, including the defense of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen ultimately acquitted of murder charges related to the shooting death of two protesters at a violent demonstration in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“We understand we are not the judge and jury; we will not take down campaigns based on our own biases,” Wilson said of the decision to collect donations for Kelly’s bond. “We will be praying for all involved.”
As of the latest updates available, his attorney, Brenna Larkin, has not introduced a motion to reduce his bond amount and requested a two-week delay to allow her more time to prepare a defense.