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 –December 2014)
Alabama 786 182
Alaska 4 0
Arizona 295 31
Arkansas
307
39
California
5,831
677
Colorado
426
56
Connecticut
552
48
Delaware 212 17
District of Columbia
375
41
Florida
5,445
467
Georgia
2,047
180
Hawaii
8
1
Idaho 19 1
Illinois 552 59
Indiana
448
38
Iowa
235
32
Kansas
312
59
Kentucky
413
47
Louisiana
1,755
68
Maine 17 0
Maryland 3,884 310
Massachusetts
1,372
128
Michigan
193
17
Minnesota
304
60
Mississippi 290 32
Missouri
222
37
Montana
1
0
Nebraska 351 66
Nevada 228 29
New Hampshire
35
2
New Jersey
2,680
279
New Mexico
41
2
New York
5,955
486
North Carolina 2,064 144
North Dakota 4 0
Ohio
635
85
Oklahoma
377
59
Oregon
115
22
Pennsylvania
660
71
Rhode Island
203
48
South Carolina
588
51
South Dakota
48
12
Tennessee
1,294
110
Texas
7,409
676
Utah
119
15
Vermont 3 0
Virginia
3,887
292
Washington
391
72
West Virginia 30 2
Wisconsin
85
1
Wyoming
8
1
Puerto Rico 2 0
Virgin Islands 1 0
Total
53,518
5,154


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