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Southsiders staying north as long as US immigration ban is in place

Last Updated Feb 1, 2017 at 4:10 pm PDT

Members of the Vancouver Southsiders. (Photo Courtesy: Duncan Nicol)

Local fan club won't travel to the US due to Trump's immigration ban

Donald Trump's travel ban is affecting fans of the Vancouver Whitecaps

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Vancouver Southsiders have decided to stop traveling to the United States as long as President Donald Trump’s ban on immigration continues.

John Knox is one of the organizers of the fan club. He says telling some people in the group that they couldn’t go on a trip or that they would experience problems at the border just wasn’t acceptable. “You have people that just want to go and have a good time and don’t pose a risk to anybody, who are having their plans delayed and sometimes interrupted because of how they look or how their name is spelled.”

Knox adds individuals can decide on their own if they want to cross the border and he hopes this is only a temporary move. “If circumstances change where it is easier for us to return, we will return. We will be back.”

The board of the fan club released the following statement for people who may be impacted by its decision.

BUS TRIPS: The Executive Board shall not coordinate any bus trips to the US until such time that the current conditions at border crossings have changed. We cannot in good conscience be responsible for arranging or hosting events or experiences which potentially come at the exclusion of some of our members, no matter how few in number those affected might be.

AWAY TICKETS: The Executive Board recognizes it has an obligation to continue facilitating access to match tickets for away games. It is important that we protect the ticket allocation we fought very hard to gain control of. We are also mindful that many members booked flights and hotels prior to these recent developments. As such, away tickets will become available once kickoff times have been finalized, and we will provide you with the information necessary to obtain them.

DECIDE FOR YOURSELF: We are not asking our members to participate in protests or boycotts. We are not telling our members to stay home. You can make those decisions for yourself.

RESPECT: We have just one request – if you travel to a Whitecaps game in the US in the foreseeable future, we ask that you leave your Southsiders scarf at home as a sign of respect for members who cannot cross the border with the same ease and personal freedom as you do.

The group says it will monitor the situation and it will make a decision if its position changes in the future. “We will continuously assess our options and revisit these decisions when appropriate. Our ultimate goal is for all of us to move forward together in harmony and respect.”