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 –January 2015)
Alabama 786 252
Alaska 4 1
Arizona 295 46
Arkansas 307 54
California 5.831 887
Colorado 426 71
Connecticut 552 59
Delaware 212 23
District of Columbia 375 48
Florida 5,445 687
Georgia 2,047 237
Hawaii 8 1
Idaho 19 1
Illinois 552 78
Indiana 448 52
Iowa 235 50
Kansas 312 84
Kentucky 413 70
Louisiana 1,755 87
Maine 17 0
Maryland 3,884 397
Massachusetts 1,372 175
Michigan 193 29
Minnesota 304 76
Mississippi 290 60
Missouri 222 46
Montana 1 0
Nebraska 351 90
Nevada 228 34
New Hampshire 35 3
New Jersey 2,680 350
New Mexico 41 2
New York 5,955 625
North Carolina 2,064 188
North Dakota 4 0
Ohio 635 139
Oklahoma 377 73
Oregon 115 38
Pennsylvania 660 89
Rhode Island 203 60
South Carolina 588 80
South Dakota 48 18
Tennessee 1,294 161
Texas 7,409 841
Utah 119 17
Vermont 3 0
Virginia 3,887 360
Washington 391 85
West Virginia 30 3
Wisconsin 85 7
Wyoming 8 3
Puerto Rico 2 0
Virgin Islands 1 0
Total 53,518 6,837


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