Hank Boyd 

Candidate for Howard County Council – District 4 

June 6, 2022 

Indivisible Howard County/Immigration Action Team Candidate  Questions 

  1. The Liberty Act (CB63-2020) was signed into law in 2020. A referendum to repeal this  law is on the ballot for the November 2022 election. Do you support the Liberty Act? If so,  will you publicly speak out in favor of it? 

The genius of America rests upon its continued ability to draw talent and industry  through immigration. As a nation, we gain strength from an open-door policy  which fosters creativity and innovation. Our democracy flourishes from those  willing to work in earnest and to earn a place in our society. In my view, Howard  County should not be in the business of policing undocumented workers. In fact,  I am a staunch advocate of the Liberty Act (CB-63) signed by Howard County  Executive Calvin Ball. This piece of legislation essentially precludes County  employees from attempting to investigate the legal status of undocumented  residents. In so doing, it augments the purpose and spirit of CB-9 which protects  undocumented immigrants in Howard County from detention and deportation. 

  1. Hate crimes have been increasing in Maryland and nationwide against all minorities and  most recently against people of Asian origin. As a County Councilmember, what would  you do address this issue and prevent hate crimes in Howard County? 

I am running for office because my precious daughter was the target of a hate  crime while at school. On November 3, 2021, she discovered the vilest word  written on her locker. Some deranged person scrawled the N-word on the outside  of her locker with the full intent to threaten and demean her. 

My wife and I were aghast. How could this unspeakable act occur in Howard  County where diversity is our watchword. Yes, we live in a robust and vibrant  community, but the seeds of hate are sprouting due, in large part, to the 45th President of the United States.  

In the wake of the incident, I decided it was time to act. I must do all I can to ensure  that our schools remain safe and free from this toxic racism. As an educator with  30 years of experience, I want all students to thrive in a learning space where they  are valued. 

It is past time that we have real conversations about systemic racism in this  country. Naturally, it should take place at the schoolyard. We must equip our K 12 teachers with the necessary training to handle this sensitive topic. In my view,  we can no longer gloss over the root cause of limited upward mobility – racial bias. 

Even standardized test scores for college acceptance aren’t immune to this  problem.  

Essentially, we are kidding ourselves if we think that going forward as a society,  we can simply push those BIPOC-related issue to the side without real  consequences. By all accounts, we are at an inflection point where “everything that  rises must converge.” Therefore, historically underrepresented groups must be  given a voice in the classroom. At the same time, white privilege must be  acknowledged. Finally, allyship will define the American experience of an ever growing multiracial society.  

I grew up in a military family. Hence, I value structure and order. When it comes  to public safety, there can be no compromise. Whether out on a stroll or visiting a  park, one should be safe in their community. Certainly, our public schools must  remain havens. Therefore, we must reconsider the role of School Resource Officer  (SRO) officers. 

By design, SROs should have a visible presence in schools to maintain law and  order. In my view, SROs ought to ensure a safe and conducive learning  environment for those who want to learn. Most disturbing, there has been a  marked increase in hate crimes impacting District 4. To quell this unrest, we need  the physical presence of authority figures inside our schools. 

  1. What specific steps would you take to help both documented and undocumented immigrants, specifically students and young adults, succeed in Howard County?

In terms of undocumented immigrants, we ought to dissolve the ICE contract.  First, the Jessup facility remains a poorly managed institution. Second, there are a  slew of reports indicating that humane conditions are not being provided for  detainees. Third, in general, correction officers seem to lack adequate training and  proper oversight. Fourth, the Jessup facility has become essentially a  clearinghouse for any ICE detainee charged with or convicted of a jailable offense.  As a result, the Jessup facility routinely exercises broad and sweeping police  powers where non-violent immigrants are detained and deported without due  process. 

For documented immigrants, we must do more to fully inform them of their rights.  Oftentimes, they are taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers because they  are hesitant to seek legal advice. We must create more pro bono legal services in the  community to help these industrious folks navigate the system.