In Olathe, Kan., a young man is dead; shot by a complete stranger. Witnesses say the suspect questioned engineers Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani about their visa status, then later told them to "get out of my country" before fatally shooting Kuchibhotla and wounding Madasani and another young white man who tried to stop him.

The day before Olathe, 39-year-old Deep Rai was shot in the arm while in his own driveway in suburban Seattle.

Rai, a Sikh, told police his masked assailant told him to go back to his homeland, then shot him. 

The America in which I live not only welcomes immigrants, we know how much we need them. The American Century was possible because of such immigrants as Andrew Carnegie, Albert Einstein and I.M. Pei.

New American Economy Research reports that immigrants and first-generation Americans are responsible for 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies.

Fever swamp

We now are in the midst of mosque burnings, and a series of bomb threats aimed at Jewish facilities across the country, not to mention the cemeteries that have been vandalized. The seepage of anti-Semitism, once relegated to the fever swamps occupied by the fringe, is trying to make its way back into the daylight. 

But this country, with all its imperfections, is no longer buying what they're selling.

The America I know has neighborhoods where a Jewish community center can stand next to a Quaker college and be neighbors with an Assembly of God Church, not far from a Greek Orthodox church, down the street from a Church of Christ, Scientist congregation, and be a stone's throw from a Hasidic synagogue. 

The America I'm from understands that when a mosque moves into a struggling neighborhood, residents are glad because they know things will get better because of it.

There is a belief that to allow immigration is to put ourselves in danger and out of work when the facts bear out that immigrant communities experience less crime than others, and immigrants create far more jobs than they take.

13 percent 

Though immigrants make up just 13 percent of the population, they create 30 percent of all small businesses, the chief driver of new jobs, according to the Pew Research Center and the Fiscal Policy Institute. 

Regarding risk, in 2015, researchers from Duke University and the University of North Carolina surveyed 382 police stations about terror threats. Seventy-four percent said their chief concern was right-wing anti-government extremism, not jihad.

Attacking people who look different, who worship differently, who may not even be immigrants, is not defending this country or making it safer. It is, in fact, the antithesis of who we have declared ourselves to be.

For those who can't abide a country which opens its Golden Door to newcomers, perhaps it's time for you to use that same door and seek somewhere more homogenous. And the next time you utilize Google to disparage foreigners, don't forget to thank Sergey Brin, the immigrant who helped to create it.

An apology

Last week, I wrote a feature story on the demolition of the former Sacred Heart of Mary School in Nimishillen Township. In it, I mistakenly wrote that the church is closing in 2018. It is not. In fact, Sacred Heart will kick off its 185th anniversary with a year-long celebration, starting in June. I sincerely apologize to the Rev. Nicholas Mancini for any confusion and anguish my error caused his parish.

Reach Charita at 330-580-8313 or charita.goshay@cantonrep.com

On Twitter: @cgoshayREP