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 July 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 – JulY 2016)
Alabama 786 808 725
Alaska 4 2 3
Arizona 295 167 266
Arkansas 307 186 236
California 5,831 3,629 5,998
Colorado 426 248 344
Connecticut 552 206 365
Delaware 212 152 231
District of Columbia 375 201 352
Florida 5,445 2,908 4,264
Georgia 2,047 1,041 1,446
Hawaii 8 2 3
Idaho 19 11 34
Illinois 552 312 410
Indiana 448 240 284
Iowa 235 201 281
Kansas 312 245 275
Kentucky 413 274 415
Louisiana 1,755 480 750
Maine 17 4 6
Maryland 3,884 1,794 3,061
Massachusetts 1,372 738 1,210
Michigan 193 132 181
Minnesota 304 243 261
Mississippi 290 207 260
Missouri 222 170 207
Montana 1 2 0
Nebraska 351 293 413
Nevada 228 137 222
New Hampshire 35 14 19
New Jersey 2,680 1,462 2,102
New Mexico 41 19 58
New York 5,955 2,630 3,893
North Carolina 2,064 844 1,181
North Dakota 4 2 8
Ohio 635 483 568
Oklahoma 377 225 251
Oregon 115 122 155
Pennsylvania 660 333 484
Rhode Island 203 185 198
South Carolina 588 294 467
South Dakota 48 61 65
Tennessee 1,294 765 1,113
Texas 7,409 3,272 5,318
Utah 119 62 107
Vermont 3 1 1
Virginia 3,887 1,694 3,018
Washington 391 283 383
West Virginia 30 12 22
Wisconsin 85 38 69
Wyoming 8 6 15
TOTAL 53,515 27,840 41,998

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

Last Reviewed: August 25, 2016