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Unaccompanied Alien Children Released to Sponsors By State

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 data in the table below shows state-by-state data of unaccompanied children released to sponsors as of May 31, 2020. ACF will update this data each month. ACF will update this data each month. View unaccompanied children released to sponsors by county.

Please note: ORR makes considerable effort to provide precise and timely data to the public, but adjustments occasionally occur following review and reconciliation. The FY2014 release data posted in the chart below were updated on March 13, 2015. The FY2015 release data were updated May 9, 2016. The FY2017 release data were updated May 22, 2018. The FY2018 release data were updated December 3, 2019. Questions may be addressed to ORR directly, at (202) 401-9246.

Unaccompanied Children Release Data

State Total Number of UC Released to Sponsors in FY 2015
(October 2014 –
September 2015)*
Total Number of UC Released to Sponsors in FY 2016
(October 2015 –
September 2016)
Total Number of UC Released to Sponsors in FY17
(Oct. 2016 – Sep. 2017)*
Total Number of UC Released to Sponsors in FY18
(Oct. 2017 – Sep. 2018)*
Total Number of UC Released to Sponsors in FY19
(Oct. 2018 – SEP 2019)
Total Number of UC Released to Sponsors in FY20
(Oct. 2019 – MAY 2020)
Alabama 808 870 598 736 1,111 235
Alaska 2 5 3 0 4 0
Arizona 167 330 322 258 493 157
Arkansas 186 309 272 193 359 81
California 3,629 7,381 6,268 4,675 8,447 2,103
Colorado 248 427 379 313 714 162
Connecticut 206 454 412 332 959 247
Delaware 152 275 178 222 383 103
DC 201 432 294 138 322 48
Florida 2,908 5,281 4,059 4,131 7,408 1,438
Georgia 1,041 1,735 1,350 1,261 2,558 529
Hawaii 2 4 4 1 16 6
Idaho 11 39 11 28 62 19
Illinois 312 519 462 475 863 197
Indiana 240 354 366 394 794 190
Iowa 201 352 277 238 489 112
Kansas 245 326 289 305 453 91
Kentucky 274 503 364 370 710 148
Louisiana 480 973 1,043 931 1,966 334
Maine 4 9 11 22 26 7
Maryland 1,794 3,871 2,957 1,723 4,671 778
Massachusetts 738 1,541 1,077 814 1,756 430
Michigan 132 227 160 136 248 66
Minnesota 243 318 320 294 624 141
Mississippi 207 300 237 299 482 95
Missouri 170 261 234 203 431 86
Montana 2 0 2 3 0 2
Nebraska 293 486 355 374 563 125
Nevada 137 283 229 132 324 73
New Hampshire 14 25 27 20 25 8
New Jersey 1,462 2,637 2,268 1,877 4,236 867
New Mexico 19 65 46 43 89 30
New York 2,630 4,985 3,938 2,845 6,367 1,555
North Carolina 844 1,493 1,290 1,110 2,522 563
North Dakota 2 10 3 2 10 1
Ohio 483 693 584 547 1,091 252
Oklahoma 225 301 267 286 581 107
Oregon 122 188 170 200 318 63
Pennsylvania 333 604 501 563 1,229 257
PR 0 0 0 1 3 3
Rhode Island 185 269 234 235 453 89
South Carolina 294 562 483 508 1,012 238
South Dakota 61 81 81 96 149 40
Tennessee 765 1,354 1,066 1,173 2,191 481
Texas 3,272 6,550 5,391 4,136 9,900 2,164
Utah 62 126 99 97 179 70
Vermont 1 1 0 2 6 1
Virginia 1,694 3,728 2,888 1,650 4,215 736
Washington 283 476 494 435 723 223
West Virginia 12 26 23 23 41 4
Wisconsin 38 85 94 98 246 51
Wyoming 6 23 14 15 15 6
Virgin Islands 0 0 3 0 0 0
TOTAL 27,840 52,147 42,497 34,953 72,837 15,812

 

*The FY2015 numbers have been reconciled.

*The FY2017 numbers have been reconciled.

*The FY2018 numbers have been reconciled.

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

 

Last Reviewed: June 23, 2020