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.

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 was updated on March 13, 2015.  Questions may be addressed to ORR directly, at (202) 401-9246.

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 - February 2015)
Alabama 786 292
Alaska 4 1
Arizona 295 63
Arkansas 307 63
California 5831 1120
Colorado 426 80
Connecticut 552 68
Delaware 212 28
District of Columbia 375 53
Florida 5445 872
Georgia 2047 295
Hawaii 8 1
Idaho 19 2
Illinois 552 96
Indiana 448 58
Iowa 235 66
Kansas 312 98
Kentucky 413 86
Louisiana 1755 106
Maine 17 0
Maryland 3884 472
Massachusetts 1372 217
Michigan 193 32
Minnesota 304 93
Mississippi 290 65
Missouri 222 58
Montana 1 1
Nebraska 351 113
Nevada 228 42
New Hampshire 35 3
New Jersey 2680 428
New Mexico 41 4
New York 5955 769
North Carolina 2064 222
North Dakota 4 0
Ohio 635 171
Oklahoma 377 91
Oregon 115 44
Pennsylvania 660 108
Rhode Island 203 63
South Carolina 588 90
South Dakota 48 21
Tennessee 1294 196
Texas 7409 1010
Utah 119 22
Vermont 3 0
Virginia 3887 433
Washington 391 103
West Virginia 30 4
Wisconsin 85 9
Wyoming 8 3
Puerto Rico 2 0
Virgin Islands 1 0
Total 53,518 8,342


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