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 2, 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 786 503
Alaska 4 1
Arizona 295 99
Arkansas 307 102
California 5831 1945
Colorado 426 136
Connecticut 552 116
Delaware 212 77
District of Columbia 375 90
Florida 5445 1606
Georgia 2047 532
Hawaii 8 2
Idaho 19 4
Illinois 552 174
Indiana 448 126
Iowa 235 118
Kansas 312 151
Kentucky 413 159
Louisiana 1755 218
Maine 17 1
Maryland 3884 865
Massachusetts 1372 380
Michigan 193 66
Minnesota 304 148
Mississippi 290 116
Missouri 222 92
Montana 1 2
Nebraska 351 180
Nevada 228 87
New Hampshire 35 6
New Jersey 2680 729
New Mexico 41 9
New York 5955 1332
North Carolina 2064 442
North Dakota 4 0
Ohio 635 282
Oklahoma 377 144
Oregon 115 71
Pennsylvania 660 187
Rhode Island 203 114
South Carolina 588 149
South Dakota 48 32
Tennessee 1294 367
Texas 7409 1775
Utah 119 32
Vermont 3 0
Virginia 3887 800
Washington 391 174
West Virginia 30 5
Wisconsin 85 21
Wyoming 8 6
Puerto Rico 2 0
Virgin Islands 1 0
Total 53,518 14,773

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