NORTHEAST ALABAMA — Our media partners at AL.com report the Department of Homeland Security placed almost a quarter of 452 undocumented immigrant children with Marshall and Jackson County sponsors since October 2017. The overall number represents illegal minors who have been placed in Alabama, according to data collected from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
Their data page shows spreadsheets of general statistics, from age to length of stay, by fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) nationally.
The following information is from 2017:
Age: 0-12 years old (17 percent), 13-14 years old (13 percent), 15-16 years old (37 percent) and 17 years old (32 percent).
Country of Origin: Guatemala (47 percent), El Savador (27 percent), Honduras (23 percent), Mexico (<3 percent) and others (3%).
Gender: Male (68 percent) and Female (32 percent)
Home Studies and Post-Release Services: House release (3,173) and PRS (13, 381)
Length of Stay: Average length of stay of a child in shelter care was 41 days, which includes shelter and transitional foster care only.
Referrals: Nearly 41,000
ORR is a division of DHS who is responsible for the care and placement of unaccompanied alien children, according to their website.
What is a sponsor?
According to their guidance page, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has policies and procedures in place to ensure the care and safety of children who are apprehended in the United States without a parent or legal guardian available to provide care and custody and without immigration status. These policies require the timely release of children and youth to qualified parents, guardians, relatives or other adults, referred to as “sponsors.” Safe and timely release must occur within a setting that promotes public safety and ensures that sponsors are able to provide for the physical and mental well-being of children.