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 July 27, 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 Total Number of UCs Released to Sponsors in FY15 YTD
Alabama 786 579
Alaska 4 1
Arizona 295 117
Arkansas 307 113
California 5831 2282
Colorado 426 156
Connecticut 552 123
Delaware 212 95
District of Columbia 375 112
Florida 5445 1864
Georgia 2047 648
Hawaii 8 2
Idaho 19 6
Illinois 552 203
Indiana 448 154
Iowa 235 140
Kansas 312 185
Kentucky 413 191
Louisiana 1755 268
Maine 17 2
Maryland 3884 1044
Massachusetts 1372 464
Michigan 193 82
Minnesota 304 169
Mississippi 290 130
Missouri 222 110
Montana 1 2
Nebraska 351 204
Nevada 228 99
New Hampshire 35 7
New Jersey 2680 855
New Mexico 41 11
New York 5955 1567
North Carolina 2064 544
North Dakota 4 2
Ohio 635 325
Oklahoma 377 174
Oregon 115 87
Pennsylvania 660 216
Rhode Island 203 135
South Carolina 588 175
South Dakota 48 37
Tennessee 1294 440
Texas 7409 2072
Utah 119 38
Vermont 3 0
Virginia 3887 963
Washington 391 204
West Virginia 30 7
Wisconsin 85 29
Wyoming 8 6
Puerto Rico 2 0
Virgin Islands 1 0
Total 53,518 17,439

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