HONOLULU — Honduras realtor office owners have been told to shut down their businesses to protest the closure of their offices in Hawaii amid a new government law that restricts their political activities.
In a letter to office owners on Tuesday, Gov.
Daniel Ige said the new law, which took effect on July 1, is unconstitutional because it prohibits the political activities of people who are registered as foreign agents or foreign agents of the United States.
Hawaii law prohibits foreign agents from working on behalf of a foreign government.
Ige’s letter, which was shared with The Associated Press on Tuesday evening, said that Hawaii officials had asked the governor to consider limiting political activity by real estate agents who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Real estate agent Joel O’Neal, who works in the office of real estate licensing and inspection, said he will take legal action if the governor’s office orders the closure.
“My job is to represent the interests of the residents of the State of Hawaii,” he said.
“That’s what I’m here for.”
He said he hopes to resume work in the state next week.
The law will make it harder for real estate professionals to practice law in Hawaii, which has a population of 1.3 million.
Hollywood real estate agent Richard Karpowitz said he has not received any correspondence from Ige’s office.
He said he was not involved in the letter and has not seen it.
A spokesman for Ige, Chris Eubanks, said the governor was working to establish an independent commission to examine the law.