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/county equivalents where the sponsors live, where 50 or more children have been released for FY 2016 (since October 1, 2015) as of February 29, 2016.  This data covers 89 counties nationwide and comprises 16,230 of the 22,798 total children released to sponsors in this period. ACF will update this data each month. See the state-by-state data.

State County Total Number of UC Released  to Sponsors in FY16 YTD (October 2015 – February 2016)
AL Marshall County 75
AZ Maricopa County 127
CA Alameda County 225
CA Contra Costa County 99
CA Fresno County 61
CA Los Angeles County 1490
CA Marin County 66
CA Monterey County 57
CA Orange County 142
CA Riverside County 141
CA San Bernardino County 60
CA San Diego County 114
CA San Francisco County 113
CA San Mateo County 104
CA Santa Clara County 100
CT Fairfield County 142
FL Broward County 188
DE Sussex County 130
FL Collier County 177
FL Duval County 70
FL Hillsborough County 104
FL Lee County 184
FL Manatee County 51
FL Martin County 68
FL Miami-Dade County 598
FL Orange County 113
FL Palm Beach County 629
GA Cobb County 74
GA DeKalb County 178
GA Gwinnett County 140
IL Cook County 112
IN Marion County 60
KY Jefferson County 55
LA East Baton Rouge Parish 82
LA Jefferson Parish 133
LA Orleans Parish 73
MD Anne Arundel County 59
MD Baltimore County 148
MD Frederick County 68
MD Montgomery County 475
MD Prince George's County 624
MD Baltimore city 151
MA Bristol County 73
MA Essex County 136
MA Middlesex County 129
MA Suffolk County 223
NE Douglas County 108
NV Clark County 94
NJ Bergen County 122
NJ Essex County 131
NJ Hudson County 138
NJ Mercer County 73
NJ Middlesex County 65
NJ Passaic County 51
NJ Union County 302
NY Bronx County 103
NY Kings County 191
NY Nassau County 469
NY Queens County 336
NY Rockland County 69
NY Suffolk County 554
NY Westchester County 126
NC Durham County 54
NC Mecklenburg County 184
NC Wake County 70
OH Tuscarawas County 52
OH Hamilton County 109
OK Oklahoma County 50
PA Philadelphia County 72
RI Providence County 99
TN Davidson County 168
TN Hamilton County 91
TN Shelby County 146
TX Harris County 1450
TX Bexar County 78
TX Collin County 51
TX Dallas County 418
TX Montgomery County 56
TX Tarrant County 94
TX Travis County 169
VA Loudoun County 150
VA Arlington County 84
VA Chesterfield County 90
VA Fairfax County 601
VA Prince William County 228
VA Alexandria city 75
VA Manassas city 53
VA Richmond city 95
WA King County 90


See the FY15 county level data
See the FY14 county level data

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

Last Reviewed: March 25, 2016