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Unaccompanied Alien Children Released to Sponsors By State

Published: June 30, 2017

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 data in the table below shows state-by-state data of unaccompanied alien children released to sponsors as of August 31, 2018. ACF will update this data each month. ACF will update this data each month.

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.  Questions may be addressed to ORR directly, at (202) 401-9246.

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 county

State Total Number of UAC Released to Sponsors in FY 2015
(October 2014 –
September 2015)*
Total Number of UAC Released to Sponsors in FY 2016
(October 2015 –
September 2016)
Total Number of UAC Released  to Sponsors in FY 2017
(October 2016 – September 2017)**
Total Number of UAC Released  to Sponsors in FY 2018
(October 2017 - AUGUST 2018)
Alabama 808 870 598 673
Alaska 2 5 3 0
Arizona 167 330 322 245
Arkansas 186 309 272 172
California 3,629 7,381 6,268 4,333
Colorado 248 427 379 288
Connecticut 206 454 412 296
Delaware 152 275 178 209
District of Columbia 201 432 294 124
Florida 2,908 5,281 4,059 3,822
Georgia 1,041 1,735 1,350 1,182
Hawaii 2 4 4 1
Idaho 11 39 11 28
Illinois 312 519 462 429
Indiana 240 354 366 353
Iowa 201 352 277 220
Kansas 245 326 289 276
Kentucky 274 503 364 344
Louisiana 480 973 1,043 847
Maine 4 9 11 19
Maryland 1,794 3,871 2,957 1,578
Massachusetts 738 1,541 1,077 750
Michigan 132 227 160 120
Minnesota 243 318 320 271
Mississippi 207 300 237 269
Missouri 170 261 234 183
Montana 2 0 2 2
Nebraska 293 486 355 349
Nevada 137 283 229 122
New Hampshire 14 25 27 17
New Jersey 1,462 2,637 2,268 1,745
New Mexico 19 65 46 37
New York 2,630 4,985 3,938 2,612
North Carolina 844 1,493 1,290 1,012
North Dakota 2 10 3 2
Ohio 483 693 584 504
Oklahoma 225 301 267 259
Oregon 122 188 170 192
Pennsylvania 333 604 501 509
Puerto Rico 0 0 0 1
Rhode Island 185 269 234 209
South Carolina 294 562 483 462
South Dakota 61 81 81 84
Tennessee 765 1,354 1,066 1,075
Texas 3,272 6,550 5,391 3,768
Utah 62 126 99 91
Vermont 1 1 0 2
Virginia 1,694 3,728 2,888 1,500
Washington 283 476 494 412
West Virginia 12 26 23 21
Wisconsin 38 85 94 78
Wyoming 6 23 14 15
Virgin Islands 0 0 3 0
TOTAL 27,840 52,147 42,497 32,112

*The FY2015 numbers have been reconciled.
**The FY2017 numbers have been reconciled.

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

Last Reviewed: September 27, 2018