The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) updated the numbers of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) released to sponsors. This monthly update now includes data from February 2018.
There were 2,895 UAC released to sponsors in February up from the 2,667 UAC released in January. The year-to-date (YTD) total for fiscal year 2018 (FY 18) is 13,186.
About 45 percent (5,896) of this total number were released to sponsors in four states: California, Florida, New York and Texas each had more than 1,000 UAC placed with sponsors in the first five months of FY 18.
There are 61 counties where 50 or more UAC were released to sponsors since October. Fifty-eight percent (7,635) of the total UAC released were placed in these 61 counties.
U.S. law currently requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to transfer unaccompanied alien children age 17 and under, who are apprehended at U.S. borders, to the care and custody of ACF’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), where they may eventually be released to sponsors in the United States. Unfortunately, many violent gangs, including MS-13, are exploiting loopholes in U.S. laws to bring gang members into the United States or to recruit UAC once they are placed with a sponsor. Human smuggling organizations are also abusing U.S. laws in order to bring children in the United States. That is why ORR joins the President in calling for Congress to close dangerous loopholes in U.S. law.