NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York is among the states receiving the most unaccompanied children caught at the U.S. border, new federal data show.
The data published Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families show New York, Texas, Florida and California account for 46 percent of the more than 30,000 children who have been released to sponsors this year through July 7.
The U.S. has been grappling with a surge in the number of unaccompanied children who have been fleeing violence in Central America and crossing into the U.S. because they believe they will be allowed to stay.
The New York Immigration Coalition says close to 3,300 unaccompanied immigrant children have arrived in New York since January, with almost 7,000 more expected to reach the state in coming months.
Children are placed in government shelters and then released to sponsors while they go through deportation proceedings. Camille Mackler, director of legal services for the New York Immigration Coalition, said most are coming to live with members of their extended families -- aunts, uncles, cousins, adults who can take custody -- in the greater New York City area, including parts of Westchester and Rockland counties and Long Island.
Advocates plan to help match children with attorneys this weekend in Manhattan.
In New Jersey, more than 1,500 unaccompanied children who entered the country illegally have been placed with sponsors so far this year.
Gov. Chris Christie said this week that his administration had received no federal notification that any children had been sent to the state.
Texas took in 4,280 of the children through July 7, followed by New York with 3,347, Florida with 3,181, and California with 3,150.
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