Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors By State

When a child who is not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian is apprehended by immigration authorities, the child is transferred to the care and custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Federal law requires that ORR feed, shelter, and provide medical care for unaccompanied children until it is able to release them to safe settings with sponsors (usually family members), while they await immigration proceedings. These sponsors live in many states.

Sponsors are adults who are suitable to provide for the child’s physical and mental well-being and have not engaged in any activity that would indicate a potential risk to the child. All sponsors must pass a background check. The sponsor must agree to ensure the child’s presence at all future immigration proceedings. They also must agree to ensure the minor reports to ICE for removal from the United States if an immigration judge issues a removal order or voluntary departure order.

HHS is engaging with state officials to address concerns they may have about the care or impact of unaccompanied children in their states, while making sure the children are treated humanely and consistent with the law as they go through immigration court proceedings that will determine whether they will be removed and repatriated, or qualify for some form of relief.

HHS has strong policies in place to ensure the privacy and safety of unaccompanied children by maintaining the confidentiality of their personal information. These children may have histories of abuse or may be seeking safety from threats of violence. They may have been trafficked or smuggled. HHS cannot release information about individual children that could compromise the child’s location or identity.

The data in the table below shows state-by-state data of unaccompanied children released to sponsors as of August 31, 2016. ACF will update this data each month. ACF will update this data each month. View unaccompanied children released to sponsors by county.

Please note: ORR makes considerable effort to provide precise and timely data to the public, but adjustments occasionally occur following review and reconciliation.  The FY2014 release data posted in the chart below were updated on March 13, 2015.  The FY2015 release data were updated May 9, 2016.  Questions may be addressed to ORR directly, at (202) 401-9246.

Unaccompanied Children Release Data

State Total Number of UC Released to Sponsors FY 2014
(October 2013 – September 2014)
Total Number of UC Released to Sponsors in FY 2015
(October 2014 – September 2015)*
Total Number of UC Released to Sponsors in FY16 YTD
(October 2015 – August 2016)
Alabama 786 808 782
Alaska 4 2 4
Arizona 295 167 301
Arkansas 307 186 276
California 5,831 3,629 6,691
Colorado 426 248 387
Connecticut 552 206 401
Delaware 212 152 247
District of Columbia 375 201 388
Florida 5,445 2,908 4,749
Georgia 2,047 1,041 1,577
Hawaii 8 2 3
Idaho 19 11 35
Illinois 552 312 464
Indiana 448 240 319
Iowa 235 201 325
Kansas 312 245 304
Kentucky 413 274 450
Louisiana 1,755 480 859
Maine 17 4 7
Maryland 3,884 1,794 3,446
Massachusetts 1,372 738 1,369
Michigan 193 132 200
Minnesota 304 243 285
Mississippi 290 207 276
Missouri 222 170 231
Montana 1 2 0
Nebraska 351 293 443
Nevada 228 137 252
New Hampshire 35 14 21
New Jersey 2,680 1,462 2,373
New Mexico 41 19 60
New York 5,955 2,630 4,438
North Carolina 2,064 844 1,349
North Dakota 4 2 8
Ohio 635 483 616
Oklahoma 377 225 269
Oregon 115 122 168
Pennsylvania 660 333 537
Rhode Island 203 185 229
South Carolina 588 294 516
South Dakota 48 61 74
Tennessee 1,294 765 1,249
Texas 7,409 3,272 5,937
Utah 119 62 116
Vermont 3 1 1
Virginia 3,887 1,694 3,370
Washington 391 283 420
West Virginia 30 12 23
Wisconsin 85 38 78
Wyoming 8 6 21
TOTAL 53,515 27,840 46,944

*The FY2015 numbers have been reconciled.
For more information, please read ORR’s reunification policy.

Last Reviewed: September 23, 2016