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 December 31, 2015. 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 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 FY16 YTD
(October 2015- December 2015)

Alabama 786 813 303
Alaska 4 2 0
Arizona 295 169 81
Arkansas 307 184 76
California 5,831 3,576 1,877
Colorado 426 242 116
Connecticut 552 207 129
Delaware 212 145 89
District of Columbia 375 198 111
Florida 5,445 2,885 1,501
Georgia 2,047 1,028 520
Hawaii 8 2 2
Idaho 19 11 14
Illinois 552 301 167
Indiana 448 233 96
Iowa 235 200 89
Kansas 312 247 112
Kentucky 413 270 137
Louisiana 1,755 465 255
Maine 17 4 3
Maryland 3,884 1,784 1,182
Massachusetts 1,372 723 414
Michigan 193 130 63
Minnesota 304 244 117
Mississippi 290 204 86
Missouri 222 169 72
Montana 1 2 0
Nebraska 351 286 142
Nevada 228 139 81
New Hampshire 35 14 6
New Jersey 2,680 1,440 757
New Mexico 41 18 16
New York 5,955 2,615 1,315
North Carolina 2,064 833 454
North Dakota 4 2 3
Ohio 635 476 180
Oklahoma 377 225 89
Oregon 115 120 63
Pennsylvania 660 333 161
Rhode Island 203 180 54
South Carolina 588 292 168
South Dakota 48 62 27
Tennessee 1,294 757 407
Texas 7,409 3,209 1,690
Utah 119 62 43
Vermont 3 1 1
Virginia 3,887 1,676 1,147
Washington 391 285 120
West Virginia 30 12 10
Wisconsin 85 39 19
Wyoming 8 6 4
Total 53,515 27,520 14,569


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

Last Reviewed: January 27, 2016