Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors by County

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 following table shows county-level data for unaccompanied children released to sponsors by the counties where the sponsors live, where 50 or more children have been released for FY 2015 (since October 1, 2014). This data covers 83 counties nationwide and comprises 11,615 of the 17,439 total children released to sponsors in this period. See the state-by-state data.

State County

Total Number of UCs Released to Sponsors in FY15 YTD (Oct. 14 - May 15)

AL Jefferson County 61
AL Marshall County 77
AL Morgan County 62
AL Tuscaloosa County 68
AZ Maricopa County 102
CA Alameda County 194
CA Contra Costa County 65
CA Los Angeles County 1018
CA Orange County 104
CA Riverside County 103
CA San Diego County 94
CA San Fransisco County 88
CA San Mateo County 99
CA Santa Clary County 83
CA Ventura County 53
CT Fairfield County 54
DE Sussex County 80
FL Broward County 118
FL Collier County 149
FL Duval County 50
FL Hillsborough County 70
FL Lee County 189
FL Martin County 62
FL Miami-Dade County 430
FL Orange County 65
FL Palm Beach County 446
GA Cobb County 71
GA DeKalb County 144
GA Gwinnett County 98
IL Cook County 95
IN Marion County 56
KS Ford County 50
KS Seward County 53
KY Jefferson County 56
LA East Baton Rouge Parish 52
LA Jefferson Parish 95
LA Orleans Parish 53
MD Baltimore County 67
MD Montgomery County 327
MD Prince George’s County 406
MD Baltimore City 81
MA Essex County 118
MA Middlesex County 71
MA Suffolk County 165
NE Douglas County 57
NV Clark County 92
NJ Bergen County 128
NJ Essex County 94
NJ Hudson County 97
NJ Mercer County 54
NJ Union County 238
NY Bronx County 122
NY Kings County 195
NY Nassau County 271
NY Queens County 317
NY Rockland County 80
NY Suffolk County 356
NY Westchester County 114
NC Durham County 52
NC Mecklenburg County 137
NC Wake County 61
OH Franklin County 65
OH Hamilton County 110
OH Tuscarawas County 58
OK Oklahoma County 58
OK Texas County 53
PA Philadelphia County 59
RI Providence County 128
TN Davidson County 105
TN Shelby County 100
TX Bexar County 50
TX Dallas County 300
TX Harris County 1081
TX Tarrant County 79
TX Travis County 104
VA Chesterfield County 50
VA Fairfax County 306
VA Loudoun County 63
VA Prince William County 140
VA Alexandria city 70
VA Richmond city 61
WA King County 59


See the FY14 county level data

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

Last Reviewed: June 2, 2015