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 October 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 FY 2016
(October 2015 – September 2016)
Total Number of UC Released  to Sponsors in FY 2017
(October 2016)
Alabama 786 808 870 92
Alaska 4 2 5 0
Arizona 295 167 330 30
Arkansas 307 186 309 27
California 5,831 3,629 7,381 824
Colorado 426 248 427 52
Connecticut 552 206 454 58
Delaware 212 152 275 18
District of Columbia 375 201 432 62
Florida 5,445 2,908 5,281 574
Georgia 2,047 1,041 1,735 184
Hawaii 8 2 4 2
Idaho 19 11 39 0
Illinois 552 312 519 55
Indiana 448 240 354 52
Iowa 235 201 352 37
Kansas 312 245 326 45
Kentucky 413 274 503 50
Louisiana 1,755 480 973 148
Maine 17 4 9 1
Maryland 3,884 1,794 3,871 471
Massachusetts 1,372 738 1,541 158
Michigan 193 132 227 26
Minnesota 304 243 318 49
Mississippi 290 207 300 36
Missouri 222 170 261 35
Montana 1 2 0 0
Nebraska 351 293 486 57
Nevada 228 137 283 25
New Hampshire 35 14 25 2
New Jersey 2,680 1,462 2,637 363
New Mexico 41 19 65 6
New York 5,955 2,630 4,985 572
North Carolina 2,064 844 1,493 166
North Dakota 4 2 10 1
Ohio 635 483 693 73
Oklahoma 377 225 301 32
Oregon 115 122 188 18
Pennsylvania 660 333 604 73
Rhode Island 203 185 269 39
South Carolina 588 294 562 72
South Dakota 48 61 81 9
Tennessee 1,294 765 1,354 152
Texas 7,409 3,272 6,550 781
Utah 119 62 126 12
Vermont 3 1 1 0
Virginia 3,887 1,694 3,728 428
Washington 391 283 476 64
West Virginia 30 12 26 2
Wisconsin 85 38 85 16
Wyoming 8 6 23 2
TOTAL 53,515 27,840 52,147 6,051

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

Last Reviewed: November 23, 2016