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Unaccompanied Alien 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 alien 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 alien 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 alien 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 alien children released to sponsors by the counties/county equivalents where the sponsors live, where 50 or more children have been released for FY 2019 (since October 1, 2018) as of December 31, 2018.  This data covers 61 counties and county equivalents nationwide and comprises 7,757 of the 12,810 total children released to sponsors in this period. ACF will update this data each month.

NOTE: This monthly data reflects all UAC referred from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It does not delineate the subset of UAC referred under the recently enacted Zero Tolerance, 100 percent prosecution of illegal immigration cases. While we understand the interest in detailed breakdowns of this information, our mission has been and remains to provide every minor transferred to HHS, regardless of the circumstances, with quality and age-appropriate care and a speedy and safe release to a sponsor. 

View unaccompanied alien children released to sponsors by state

State County

Total Number of UAC Released  to Sponsors in FY 2019
(through December 2018)

AZ Maricopa County 84
CA Alameda County 139
CA Contra Costa County 55
CA Los Angeles County 654
CA Orange County 65
CA Riverside County 79
CA San Mateo County 69
CA Santa Clara County 64
CT Fairfield County 120
DE Sussex County 53
FL Broward County 115
FL Collier County 69
FL Duval County 51
FL Hillsborough County 57
FL Lee County 170
FL Miami-Dade County 300
FL Orange County 92
FL Palm Beach County 289
GA DeKalb County 94
GA Gwinnett County 78
IL Cook County 62
IN Marion County 57
LA East Baton Rouge Parish 67
LA Jefferson Parish 133
MA Essex County 68
MA Middlesex County 61
MA Suffolk County 62
MD Baltimore city 131
MD Baltimore County 86
MD Montgomery County 184
MD Prince George's County 276
NC Mecklenburg County 131
NC Wake County 73
NJ Bergen County 71
NJ Essex County 70
NJ Hudson County 60
NJ Mercer County 94
NJ Morris County 64
NJ Union County 162
NY Bronx County 68
NY Kings County 158
NY Nassau County 157
NY Queens County 212
NY Rockland County 53
NY Suffolk County 222
NY Westchester County 65
OH Hamilton County 62
PA Philadelphia County 81
RI Providence County 65
SC Greenville County 52
TN Davidson County 128
TN Shelby County 60
TX Bexar County 53
TX Dallas County 258
TX Harris County 854
TX Tarrant County 59
TX Travis County 124
VA Fairfax County 228
VA Prince William County 70
VA Richmond city 62
WA King County 57

See the FY18 county level data
See the FY17 county level data
See the FY16 county level data
See the FY15 county level data
See the FY14 county level data

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

Last Reviewed: January 31, 2019