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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 August 31, 2019. 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. Questions may be addressed to ORR directly, at (202) 401-9246.

Unaccompanied Children Release Data

State Total Number of UC Released to Sponsors FY 2014
(October 2013 – September 2014)
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 – Aug 2019)
Alabama 786 808 870 598 730 1,059
Alaska 4 2 5 3 0 4
Arizona 295 167 330 322 263 471
Arkansas 307 186 309 272 191 342
California 5,831 3,629 7,381 6,268 4,655 8,002
Colorado 426 248 427 379 310 669
Connecticut 552 206 454 412 332 908
Delaware 212 152 275 178 226 370
DC 375 201 432 294 134 304
Florida 5,445 2,908 5,281 4,059 4,109 7,098
Georgia 2,047 1,041 1,735 1,350 1,259 2,426
Hawaii 8 2 4 4 1 15
Idaho 19 11 39 11 30 59
Illinois 552 312 519 462 472 823
Indiana 448 240 354 366 392 750
Iowa 235 201 352 277 236 452
Kansas 312 245 326 289 297 435
Kentucky 413 274 503 364 367 678
Louisiana 1,755 480 973 1,043 931 1,879
Maine 17 4 9 11 21 22
Maryland 3,884 1,794 3,871 2,957 1,722 4,473
Massachusetts 1,372 738 1,541 1,077 813 1,649
Michigan 193 132 227 160 133 236
Minnesota 304 243 318 320 292 573
Mississippi 290 207 300 237 297 463
Missouri 222 170 261 234 202 403
Montana 1 2 0 2 3 0
Nebraska 351 293 486 355 373 543
Nevada 228 137 283 229 133 300
New Hampshire 35 14 25 27 19 23
New Jersey 2,680 1,462 2,637 2,268 1,876 3,998
New Mexico 41 19 65 46 43 84
New York 5,955 2,630 4,985 3,938 2,837 5,997
North Carolina 2,064 844 1,493 1,290 110 2,369
North Dakota 4 2 10 3 2 10
Ohio 635 483 693 584 546 1,026
Oklahoma 377 225 301 267 278 538
Oregon 115 122 188 170 201 307
Pennsylvania 660 333 604 501 559 1,146
PR 0 0 0 0 1 2
Rhode Island 203 185 269 234 234 437
South Carolina 588 294 562 483 507 962
South Dakota 48 61 81 81 94 142
Tennessee 1,294 765 1,354 1,066 1,162 2,098
Texas 7,409 3,272 6,550 5,391 4,113 9,381
Utah 119 62 126 99 98 164
Vermont 3 1 1 0 2 6
Virginia 3,887 1,694 3,728 2,888 1,647 4,012
Washington 391 283 476 494 434 692
West Virginia 30 12 26 23 22 40
Wisconsin 85 38 85 94 99 226
Wyoming 8 6 23 14 16 15
Virgin Islands 0 0 0 3 0 0
TOTAL 53,515 27,840 52,147 42,497 34,815 69,081

 

*The FY2015 numbers have been reconciled.

*The FY2017 numbers have been reconciled.

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

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Last Reviewed: September 27, 2019