Tuesday, March 27, 2012

U.S.Customs Issues Pro-Gay Border Crossing Policy

Finally! One of the more annoying aspects of international travel as a U.S. same-sex couple is returning home after a hellishly long flight from a foreign country (Spain, Argentina, Canada, South Africa, Netherlands, Portugal etc) where one is treated like a marital unit is the welcome from the United States Border agent completely denying the legitimacy of your relationship by refusing to allow same-sex couples to fill a single customs declaration form like other families travelling together.

On Monday came word from the Obama Administration that they are going to make an administrative rule change that will eliminate that homophobic nuisance at the border for good.

CBP Announces Proposal to Expand Filing of Joint Customs Declarations WASHINGTON— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will publish tomorrow a notice of proposed rulemaking proposing to revise its regulations concerning when members of a family residing in one household and traveling together on their return to the United States may make a joint declaration for all members of the family.
 CBP is proposing to expand the definition of the term “members of a family residing in one household” to include domestic relationships, which would allow more U.S. returning residents to file a joint customs declaration for articles acquired abroad. “Domestic relationship” would be defined to include foster children, stepchildren, half-siblings, legal wards, other dependents, and individuals with an in loco parentis or guardianship relationship.  CBP would also include within the definition two adults who are in a committed relationship including, but not limited to, long-term companions and couples in civil unions or domestic partnerships where the partners share financial assets and obligations, and are not married to, or a partner of, anyone else. “Members of a family residing in one household” would continue to encompass relationships of blood, adoption, and marriage.  By expanding the definition of “members of a family residing in one household,” CBP anticipates a reduction in the number of declarations (CBP Form 6059-Bs), which would streamline passenger processing by CBP officers and reduce costs. CBP believes that this proposed change would more accurately reflect relationships between members of the public who are traveling together as a family.  Written comments must be received on or before May 26, include the agency name and docket number by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov or by mail to: Trade and Commercial Regulations BranchRegulations and RulingsU.S. Customs and Border Protection799 9th Street, N.W. (Mint Annex)Washington, D.C. 20229-1179-CBP- U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Anyone think a Romney Administration would be making a similar rule change? "Jus' sayin'"!

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