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

State Total Number of UCs Released to Sponsors FY 2014 (October 2013 – September 2014) Total Number of UCs Released to Sponsors in FY 2015 (October 2014)
Alabama 786 64
Alaska 4 0
Arizona 295 11
Arkansas
307
14
California
5,831
215
Colorado
426
18
Connecticut
552
18
Delaware 212 8
District of Columbia
375
20
Florida
5,445
144
Georgia
2,047
61
Hawaii
8
0
Idaho 19 0
Illinois 552 22
Indiana
448
16
Iowa
235
9
Kansas
312
25
Kentucky
413
13
Louisiana
1,755
21
Maine 17 0
Maryland 3,884 110
Massachusetts
1,372
33
Michigan
193
9
Minnesota
304
24
Mississippi 290 11
Missouri
222
17
Montana
1
0
Nebraska 351 19
Nevada 228 8
New Hampshire
35
0
New Jersey
2,680
88
New Mexico
41
2
New York
5,955
168
North Carolina 2,064 56
North Dakota 4 0
Ohio
635
24
Oklahoma
377
22
Oregon
115
10
Pennsylvania
660
22
Rhode Island
203
12
South Carolina
588
17
South Dakota
48
4
Tennessee
1,294
32
Texas
7,409
203
Utah
119
5
Vermont 3 0
Virginia
3,887
114
Washington
391
19
West Virginia 30 2
Wisconsin
85
0
Wyoming
8
0
Puerto Rico 2 0
Virgin Islands 1 0
Total
53,518
1,712


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