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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 March 31, 2018. ACF will update this data each month. ACF will update this data each month.

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

Unaccompanied Alien Children Release Data

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 - March 2018)
Alabama 808 870 608 385
Alaska 2 5 3 0
Arizona 167 330 318 129
Arkansas 186 309 275 87
California 3,629 7,381 6,252 2,355
Colorado 248 427 375 145
Connecticut 206 454 410 135
Delaware 152 275 175 119
District of Columbia 201 432 292 61
Florida 2,908 5,281 4,054 1,977
Georgia 1,041 1,735 1,345 604
Hawaii 2 4 5 0
Idaho 11 39 11 15
Illinois 312 519 462 225
Indiana 240 354 365 172
Iowa 201 352 277 127
Kansas 245 326 289 155
Kentucky 274 503 363 168
Louisiana 480 973 1,043 409
Maine 4 9 11 13
Maryland 1,794 3,871 2,953 748
Massachusetts 738 1,541 1,071 359
Michigan 132 227 162 62
Minnesota 243 318 321 142
Mississippi 207 300 235 127
Missouri 170 261 232 87
Montana 2 0 2 0
Nebraska 293 486 353 185
Nevada 137 283 228 64
New Hampshire 14 25 27 12
New Jersey 1,462 2,637 2,269 867
New Mexico 19 65 46 12
New York 2,630 4,985 3,918 1,308
North Carolina 844 1,493 1,282 457
North Dakota 2 10 3 1
Ohio 483 693 587 261
Oklahoma 225 301 267 133
Oregon 122 188 169 116
Pennsylvania 333 604 502 231
Rhode Island 185 269 237 112
South Carolina 294 562 480 237
South Dakota 61 81 79 53
Tennessee 765 1,354 1,073 577
Texas 3,272 6,550 5,374 1,689
Utah 62 126 98 50
Vermont 1 1 0 2
Virginia 1,694 3,728 2,883 756
Washington 283 476 501 235
West Virginia 12 26 22 13
Wisconsin 38 85 92 36
Wyoming 6 23 14 7
Virgin Islands 0 0 3 0
TOTAL 27,840 52,147 42,416 16,220

*The FY2015 numbers have been reconciled.

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

Last Reviewed: April 26, 2018