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Unaccompanied Alien Children Released to Sponsors by County

Published: September 27, 2019

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 2020 (since October 1, 2019) as of May 31, 2020. This data covers 72 counties and county equivalents nationwide and comprises 9,996 of the 15,812 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 FY20
(thru MAY 2020)

AZ Maricopa County 144
CA Alameda County 166
CA Contra Costa County 71
CA Fresno County 55
CA Los Angeles County 832
CA Marin County 83
CA Monterey County 56
CA Orange County 75
CA Riverside County 89
CA San Bernardino County 65
CA San Diego County 64
CA San Francisco County 54
CA San Mateo County 110
CA Santa Clara County 74
CT Fairfield County 130
CT New Haven County 62
DE Sussex County 95
FL Broward County 122
FL Collier County 68
FL Hillsborough County 107
FL Lee County 113
FL Miami-Dade County 280
FL Orange County 96
FL Palm Beach County 255
GA Cobb County 58
GA DeKalb County 123
GA Gwinnett County 112
IL Cook County 107
IN Marion County 77
LA East Baton Rouge Parish 62
LA Jefferson Parish 116
MA Essex County 118
MA Middlesex County 96
MA Suffolk County 92
MD Baltimore County 84
MD Baltimore city 100
MD Montgomery County 195
MD Prince George's County 253
NC Mecklenburg County 144
NC Wake County 66
NE Douglas County 51
NJ Bergen County 74
NJ Essex County 170
NJ Hudson County 100
NJ Mercer County 82
NJ Morris County 54
NJ Union County 147
NV Clark County 52
NY Bronx County 123
NY Kings County 255
NY Nassau County 168
NY Queens County 432
NY Rockland County 90
NY Suffolk County 264
NY Westchester County 89
OH Hamilton County 81
PA Philadelphia County 67
RI Providence County 86
SC Greenville County 52
TN Davidson County 169
TN Hamilton County 52
TN Shelby County 89
TX Bexar County 79
TX Dallas County 302
TX Harris County 1015
TX Montgomery County 63
TX Tarrant County 81
TX Travis County 209
VA Chesterfield County 51
VA Fairfax County 219
VA Prince William County 68
WA King County 93


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

Last Reviewed: June 23, 2020