News Roundup: Don’t Selfie And Boat This Independence Day

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Alexandra HartJuly 4, 2018 1:42 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from arbitrarily detaining asylum seekers at the border. The ruling comes in response to a suit filed in March by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider reports.

The judge ruled the Trump administration was violating a 2009 Immigration and Customs Enforcement directive. Under that rule, ICE must grant parole to any asylum seeker who passes what’s known as a “credible fear interview.” That’s an interview used to determine if they have a legitimate reason to fear persecution or torture if they’re deported. Geoffrey Hoffman of the University of Houston Law Center spoke with Houston Matters.

“In 2009, about 90 percent were actually released, and then under the Trump administration, according to the stats that were given to the federal judge, about 100 percent were denied parole in various field offices, including El Paso, Philadelphia and Newark,” Hoffman said.

Houston Matters contacted the Justice Department for a response to the ruling, but the department declined to comment.

As folks prepare to hit the water for the July 4th holiday, Texans are being warned about the dangers of distracted boating.

Ted Sensenbrenner with the Boat U.S. Foundation says most crashes are caused by boaters not paying attention to what’s going on around them.

“There’s a lot of interest in taking a selfie or a photo of yourself while you’re behind the wheel of a boat but we would certainly encourage you to make sure the vessel is stopped and you’re out of the traffic lanes,” Sensenbrenner says.

Other safe boating practices include not drinking and boating and, of course, always wearing a life vest while on the water.

In fact, Texas state law requires it for children under the age of 13.

Figures from the U.S. Coast Guard show July is the worst month for boating collisions around the country.

One Dallas resident was certainly trying to have a blast this Independence Day – with a stash of more than 7,000 pounds of fireworks.

The Dallas Morning News reports Dallas Police and the Dallas Fire Marshal executed a search on a South Dallas residence yesterday morning.

Inside, they found and seized 7,100 pounds of “consumer grade fireworks.”

Authorities estimate the haul is worth about $8,000. The Dallas Police Department’s bomb squad and a third party company will dispose of the firecrackers.

The police issued citations, but did not make any arrests.

Dallas – like most cities in Texas – bans the use of fireworks within city limits.

And, although fireworks are sometimes allowed in rural areas, drought conditions in parts of the state could make using them a fire hazard.

Check your local laws before using fireworks this holiday. Or play it safe and just enjoy a professional fireworks show if your community has one.