For several years travel advocates have been urging the federal government to take stock of its security, customs and entry procedures and try to make the whole experience a little more pleasant for arriving foreign visitors and returning U.S. travelers.


We were pleased to note one more small sign last week that the government has been listening.

Customs and Border Protection wants to broaden the rule that allows family members traveling together to submit a single customs declaration. The existing language covers "members of a family residing in one household" who are related "by blood, marriage or adoption."

That was good enough for the 1950s, but it doesn't account for many of today's nontraditional family groupings. Thus, the government is proposing to add "two adult individuals in a committed relationship, including, but not limited to, longtime companions and couples in civil unions or domestic partnerships" as well as foster children, stepchildren, half-siblings, legal wards and "other dependents."

This is a small step, but it's a welcome and welcoming gesture. Let's have more of them.
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