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 March 13, 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 786 421
Alaska 4 1
Arizona 295 83
Arkansas 307 88
California 5831 1603
Colorado 426 114
Connecticut 552 99
Delaware 212 52
District of Columbia 375 75
Florida 5445 1345
Georgia 2047 434
Hawaii 8 1
Idaho 19 3
Illinois 552 146
Indiana 448 93
Iowa 235 92
Kansas 312 130
Kentucky 413 137
Louisiana 1755 176
Maine 17 1
Maryland 3884 693
Massachusetts 1372 321
Michigan 193 52
Minnesota 304 134
Mississippi 290 96
Missouri 222 81
Montana 1 1
Nebraska 351 149
Nevada 228 71
New Hampshire 35 4
New Jersey 2680 617
New Mexico 41 6
New York 5955 1127
North Carolina 2064 351
North Dakota 4 0
Ohio 635 251
Oklahoma 377 131
Oregon 115 62
Pennsylvania 660 160
Rhode Island 203 93
South Carolina 588 125
South Dakota 48 29
Tennessee 1294 300
Texas 7409 1477
Utah 119 26
Vermont 3 0
Virginia 3887 648
Washington 391 144
West Virginia 30 4
Wisconsin 85 16
Wyoming 8 5
Puerto Rico 2 0
Virgin Islands 1 0
Total 53,518 12,268

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