Over just two months, the Obama administration’s Office of Refugee Resettlement has released more than 12,670 unaccompanied minors — apprehended illegally entering the United States — into communities throughout the country.
According to newly released ORR data, during the first two months of this fiscal year — October and November — officials placed 12,674 unaccompanied minors with sponsors in cities and towns across the U.S., ostensibly to await immigration hearings. Sponsors are often family members — many of whom are reportedly in the U.S. illegally themselves.
If this pace — of nearly 208 unaccompanied minors released per day — continues through the rest of FY 2017, the tally will dramatically exceed the 52,147 released last fiscal year and the 53,515 released in FY 2014. ORR released another 27,840 in FY 2015.
So far this fiscal year, ORR has released unaccompanied minors into nearly every state in the union. Vermont and Montana are the only states that, to date, have not received unaccompanied minors.
The top ten receiving states for the months of October and November were California (1,801), Texas (1,572), New York (1,240), Florida (1,190), Maryland (1,009), Virginia (896), New Jersey (706), Georgia (397), North Carolina (360), and Massachusetts (358).
The top ten receiving counties over those same two months included Los Angeles County, Calif (846); Harris County, Texas (778); Prince George’s County, Md. (376); Suffolk County, N.Y. (354); Miami-Dade County, Fla. (320); Fairfax County, Va. (309); Palm Beach County, Fla. (269); Dallas County, Texas (289); Nassau County, N.Y. (279); and Montgomery County, Md. (274).
The high release numbers come as the surge of illegal immigration through the southwest border continues at a high rate. In just October and November alone, CBP apprehended 93,405 migrants illegally crossing the border into the U.S. — including 14,128 unaccompanied minors and 28,691 adults traveling with children.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection continues to see increases in migration along the Southwest Border during fiscal year 2017,” CBP explained in a recent data release. “This includes family units and unaccompanied children from Central America, Haitian nationals migrating from Brazil, and Cuban nationals.”
ORR does not break down its data by month but keeps an ongoing tally of the unaccompanied minors it releases throughout the fiscal year. To be sure, in October, ORR reported it released 6,051 unaccompanied minors — meaning the office likely released 6,623 last month.