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 September 30th

State # of Unaccompanied Children
Alabama 685
Alaska 3
Arizona 226
Arkansas
256
California
4,905
Colorado
350
Connecticut
468
Delaware 171
District of Columbia
309
Florida
4,502
Georgia
1,709
Hawaii
8
Idaho 18
Illinois 468
Indiana
383
Iowa
208
Kansas
273
Kentucky
359
Louisiana
1,427
Maine 12
Maryland 3,301
Massachusetts
1,175
Michigan
168
Minnesota
260
Mississippi 249
Missouri
180
Montana
1
Nebraska 302
Nevada 194
New Hampshire
30
New Jersey
2,276
New Mexico
33
New York
5,033
North Carolina 1,695
North Dakota 4
Ohio
519
Oklahoma
296
Oregon
103
Pennsylvania
541
Rhode Island
166
South Carolina
509
South Dakota
34
Tennessee
1,079
Texas
6,272
Utah
106
Vermont 3
Virginia
3,319
Washington
332
West Virginia 26
Wisconsin
73
Wyoming
8
Puerto Rico 1
Virgin Islands 1
Total
45,029


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