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Las Vegas African refugees angered over President Trump's controversial comments

Refugee: Comment is "fundamentally unamerican"
Posted: 6:39 PM, Jan 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-13 02:59:28Z
Local refugees angered by President's comment

President Trump denies he made a disparaging remark about African nations and Haiti during a meeting Thursday.

Right now, several Democrats who were at the meeting say it happened, while a couple of Republicans in attendance don't recall hearing the remark.

Regardless, the controversial comment is getting a lot of attention from Las Vegas refugees.

"It is not a s***hole, it is a sacred ground," said Ethiopian refugee Alexander Assefa.

Las Vegas is home to hundreds of new refugees from all over Africa every year, according to the African Community Center.

Assefa said he fled Ethiopia more than 17 years ago. He says he now lives the American Dream, married to his Ethiopian wife, graduating from college and owning his own trucking business.

"It is helping others, and it is taking them with me to the American dream," Assefa said about his business.

Redda Mehari is another Ethiopian refugee who fled to the United States more than 30 years ago when the military took over his homeland.

He said he had to fight against the government decades ago and feels like he is doing the same with President Trump.

"It's a big disappointment for me because I've lived in this country for a long time," Mehari said.

Mehari is the director of the ECDC African Community Center which helps resettle refugees in Las Vegas.

He said about 70 percent of the taxi business in Las Vegas is made up of Ethiopian refugees, while many others work as dealers on the strip.