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. ACF will update this data each month. View unaccompanied children released to sponsors by county.

Unaccompanied Children release data from January 1st to August 31st

State # of Unaccompanied Children
Alabama 634
Alaska
4
Arizona 218
Arkansas
250
California
4,680
Colorado
336
Connecticut
455
Delaware 168
District of Columbia
301
Florida
4,392
Georgia
1,623
Hawaii
8
Idaho 15
Illinois 437
Indiana
357
Iowa
196
Kansas
246
Kentucky
333
Louisiana
1,414
Maine 9
Maryland 3,248
Massachusetts
1,115
Michigan
154
Minnesota
240
Mississippi 238
Missouri
173
Montana
1
Nebraska 278
Nevada 188
New Hampshire
28
New Jersey
2,171
New Mexico
32
New York
4,799
North Carolina 1,648
North Dakota 4
Ohio
489
Oklahoma
284
Oregon
96
Pennsylvania
513
Puerto Rico
1
Rhode Island
173
South Carolina
491
South Dakota
31
Tennessee
1,020
Texas
6,217
Utah
103
Vermont 3
Virgin Islands 1
Virginia
3,193
Washington
310
West Virginia 20
Wisconsin
73
Wyoming
8
Total
43,419


For more information, please read ORR’s reunification policy.