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 as of March 31, 2016. ACF will update this data each month. 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 were updated on March 13, 2015.  Questions may be addressed to ORR directly, at (202) 401-9246.

Unaccompanied Children Release Data

State Total Number of UC Released to Sponsors FY 2014 (October 2013 – September 2014)

Total Number of UC Released to Sponsors in FY 2015 (October 2014 – September 2015)

Total Number of UC Released  to Sponsors in FY 2016 YTD
(October 2015- MARCH 2016)

Alabama 786 813                           521
Alaska 4 2                                1
Arizona 295 169                           172
Arkansas 307 184                           130
California 5,831 3,576                        3,608
Colorado 426 242                           218
Connecticut 552 207                           231
Delaware 212 145                           177
District of Columbia 375 198                           195
Florida 5,445 2,885                        2,786
Georgia 2,047 1,028                          944
Hawaii 8 2                                3
Idaho 19 11                              22
Illinois 552 301                           274
Indiana 448 233                           156
Iowa 235 200                           179
Kansas 312 247                           192
Kentucky 413 270                           272
Louisiana 1,755 465                           456
Maine 17 4                                3
Maryland 3,884 1,784                        1,849
Massachusetts 1,372 723                           736
Michigan 193 130                           118
Minnesota 304 244                           175
Mississippi 290 204                           166
Missouri 222 169                           133
Montana 1 2                               -  
Nebraska 351 286                           288
Nevada 228 139                           121
New Hampshire 35 14                              12
New Jersey 2,680 1,440                        1,265
New Mexico 41 18                              37
New York 5,955 2,615                        2,306
North Carolina 2,064 833                           732
North Dakota 4 2                                8
Ohio 635 476                           346
Oklahoma 377 225                           162
Oregon 115 120                              108
Pennsylvania 660 333                           303
Rhode Island 203 180                           120
South Carolina 588 292                           317
South Dakota 48 62                              44
Tennessee 1,294 757                           712
Texas 7,409 3,209                        3,106
Utah 119 62                              78
Vermont 3 1                                1
Virginia 3,887 1,676                        1,886
Washington 391 285                           236
West Virginia 30 12                              17
Wisconsin 85 39                              47
Wyoming 8 6                                6
Total 53,515 27,520                     25,975


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

Last Reviewed: March 25, 2016