< Back to Search

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 January 31, 2019. This data covers 78 counties and county equivalents nationwide and comprises 12,078 of the 18,366 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 JANUARY 2019)

AZ Maricopa County 135
CA Alameda County 195
CA Contra Costa County 86
CA Fresno County 65
CA Los Angeles County 904
CA Marin County 54
CA Orange County 93
CA Riverside County 108
CA San Bernardino County 60
CA San Diego County 76
CA San Francisco County 69
CA San Mateo County 110
CA Santa Clara County 81
CT Fairfield County 157
DE Sussex County 79
FL Broward County 170
FL Collier County 102
FL Duval County 74
FL Hillsborough County 92
FL Lee County 227
FL Martin County 61
FL Miami-Dade County 465
FL Orange County 131
FL Palm Beach County 437
GA Cobb County 67
GA DeKalb County 140
GA Gwinnett County 109
IL Cook County 93
IN Marion County 85
KY Jefferson County 53
LA East Baton Rouge Parish 102
LA Jefferson Parish 173
LA Orleans Parish 62
MA Bristol County 65
MA Essex County 99
MA Middlesex County 85
MA Suffolk County 87
MD Anne Arundel County 55
MD Baltimore city 191
MD Baltimore County 122
MD Montgomery County 278
MD Prince George's County 375
NC Mecklenburg County 171
NC Wake County 89
NE Douglas County 68
NJ Bergen County 106
NJ Essex County 93
NJ Hudson County 104
NJ Mercer County 133
NJ Morris County 84
NJ Union County 238
NV Clark County 53
NY Bronx County 105
NY Kings County 220
NY Nassau County 231
NY Queens County 291
NY Rockland County 73
NY Suffolk County 310
NY Westchester County 87
OH Hamilton County 106
OK Tulsa County 59
PA Philadelphia County 117
RI Providence County 114
SC Greenville County 71
TN Davidson County 184
TN Hamilton County 76
TN Shelby County 91
TX Bexar County 77
TX Dallas County 344
TX Harris County 1,184
TX Tarrant County 80
TX Travis County 175
VA Alexandria city 53
VA Chesterfield County 61
VA Fairfax County 300
VA Prince William County 98
VA Richmond city 80
WA King County 80

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: February 28, 2019