(AP) -- New federal data shows Missouri received 121 unaccompanied children caught at the U.S. border this year.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families released a state-by-state list on Thursday showing the total released to sponsors from January 1 to July 7.
Illinois received 305 of the children while Texas received the most with 4,280. The other leading states are New York, Florida and California.
The U.S. has been grappling with a surge in the number of unaccompanied children arriving on the border from Central America fleeing violence. Many believe they’ll be allowed to stay in the U.S.
Children are placed in government shelters and then released to sponsors while they go through deportation proceedings. In many cases, the sponsors are the children’s parents, other relatives, or a family friend.