March 26, 2021 Surge of Unaccompanied Minors at the Border Creates Special Crisis Circumstance The aftermath of hurricanes and other natural disasters, and civil unrest in Central America has created a surge in the number of migrants crossing the U.S. - Mexico border, with an especially alarming number of unaccompanied children entering the U.S. Children as young as seven and eight years - old are crossing into the United States by themselves. In conjunction with San Bernardino County and Catholic Charities of San Diego, the Diocese of San Bernardino are at the helm assisting with this humanitarian crisis. Reports state there are 15,000 unaccompanied minors currently being held in the U.S. Families with small children walk over a thousand miles from Central America through Mexico, fleeing gang violence, cartels, and seeking security. They often arrive at the border with literally nothing but the clothes on their backs. Continue Reading Physician - Assisted Suicide Bill Clears Senate Health Committee On Wednesday, the Senate Health Committee voted to approve Senator Eggman's (D - Stockton) Senate Bill 380, the bill to remove some of the "safeguards" of California's physician-assisted suicide law. The CCC is actively opposing this bill and made its opposition known at the hearing. Thank you to all who wrote letters to their Senators asking them to strike down SB 380. The California Catholic Conference will continue to vocalize bold opposition to this bill. Please continue to watch for ways you can help defeat this attack on the sanctity of life. Bishops Condemn Attacks on Asian and Pacific Islanders Following the recent tragic shootings in the Atlanta area this past week and the dialogue that has been ignited about other reported incidents of aggression against people of Asian descent, several bishops have publicly denounced the violent attacks. Bishop Oscar A. Solis of Salt Lake City and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs decried the culture of death, hatred, and violence that underlies these incidents and called for solidarity with the vulnerable. "I am deeply saddened to hear of another mass shooting that has tragically taken the lives of eight people and has renewed concerns about a rise of hostility against individuals of Asian descent," said Bishop Solis in a written statement. "As bishops, we decry any kind of hatred and violence, particularly based on race, ethnicity, or sex. We pray for the families and friends of those who were lost, and for their communities, who may feel unsafe and vulnerable at this time. Continue Reading CCC President Bishop McElroy Encourages Vaccinations As the California Catholic Conferences continues to encourage all those who can be vaccinated to do so, Conference President Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego has released a video encouraging Catholics to be vaccinated. The video is part of a webinar, Love Your Neighbor and Get Vaccinated: Science, Ethics and the COVID-19 Vaccines, featuring Dr. Charles Binkley, MD, Director of Bioethics, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University; Fr. Luke Dynsinger, OSB, MD, DPhil.: Professor of Church History and Moral Theology, St. John's Seminary, and Mr. Isaac Cuevas, Director of Immigration and Public Affairs, Archdiocese of Los Angeles. A recording of the webinar will be available next week at www.cacatholic.org. In the News USCCB on Mass Shooting in Boulder, Colorado "As we are still reeling from the loss of life in the mass shootings in Atlanta, it is heartbreaking to hear of yet another mass shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, CO, that reportedly has resulted in the deaths of ten people. We pray for the families and friends of those who were lost and for their communities. We are especially grateful for the efforts of first responders to safeguard the community and treat victims and urge all people of goodwill to offer concrete support to victims of violence wherever possible." COVID-10 Memorial in Diocese of Orange The OC Autism Foundation, in collaboration with the Diocese of Orange, held a media day to debut the Rose River Memorial, a solemn display of handmade roses symbolizing the 4,600 victims of COVID-19 in Orange County. The memorial is now on display at the Christ Cathedral campus. Stimulus Bill increased Funds to Combat Food Insecurity The latest stimulus bill provided a 15 percent food stamp boost through September. Here's what you need to know. Public Policy Insights will be on hiatus to celebrate Holy Week. We at the California Catholic Conference pray you have a blessed Easter and celebrate the glory of the resurrection.