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Unaccompanied Alien Children Released to Sponsors By State

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 December 31, 2018. 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 2014
(October 2013 –
September 2014)
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 - September 2018)
Total Number of UAC Released to Sponsors in FY 2019
(October 2018 – December 2018)
Alabama 786 808 870 598 730 210
Alaska 4 2 5 3 0 0
Arizona 295 167 330 322 263 89
Arkansas 307 186 309 272 191 63
California 5,831 3,629 7,381 6,268 4,655 1,544
Colorado 426 248 427 379 310 132
Connecticut 552 206 454 412 332 170
Delaware 212 152 275 178 226 64
District of Columbia 375 201 432 294 134 55
Florida 5,445 2,908 5,281 4,059 4,109 1,400
Georgia 2,047 1,041 1,735 1,350 1,259 435
Hawaii 8 2 4 4 1 3
Idaho 19 11 39 11 30 12
Illinois 552 312 519 462 472 160
Indiana 448 240 354 366 392 160
Iowa 235 201 352 277 236 82
Kansas 312 245 326 289 297 93
Kentucky 413 274 503 364 367 128
Louisiana 1,755 480 973 1,043 931 370
Maine 17 4 9 11 21 4
Maryland 3,884 1,794 3,871 2,957 1,722 823
Massachusetts 1,372 738 1,541 1,077 813 256
Michigan 193 132 227 160 133 45
Minnesota 304 243 318 320 292 103
Mississippi 290 207 300 237 297 90
Missouri 222 170 261 234 202 80
Montana 1 2 0 2 3 0
Nebraska 351 293 486 355 373 109
Nevada 228 137 283 229 133 42
New Hampshire 35 14 25 27 19 5
New Jersey 2,680 1,462 2,637 2,268 1,876 720
New Mexico 41 19 65 46 43 12
New York 5,955 2,630 4,985 3,938 2,837 1,033
North Carolina 2,064 844 1,493 1,290 1,101 422
North Dakota 4 2 10 3 2 2
Ohio 635 483 693 584 546 173
Oklahoma 377 225 301 267 278 102
Oregon 115 122 188 170 201 56
Pennsylvania 660 333 604 501 559 206
Puerto Rico 0 0 0 0 1 0
Rhode Island 203 185 269 234 234 76
South Carolina 588 294 562 483 507 209
South Dakota 48 61 81 81 94 25
Tennessee 1,294 765 1,354 1,066 1,162 398
Texas 7,409 3,272 6,550 5,391 4,113 1,691
Utah 119 62 126 99 98 24
Vermont 3 1 1 0 2 1
Virginia 3,887 1,694 3,728 2,888 1,647 739
Washington 391 283 476 494 434 135
West Virginia 30 12 26 23 22 7
Wisconsin 85 38 85 94 99 49
Wyoming 8 6 23 14 16 3
Virgin Islands 0 0 0 3 0 0
TOTAL 53,515 27,840 52,147 42,497 34,815 12,810

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

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

Last Reviewed: January 31, 2019