Commission’s Report Highlights Plight of Unaccompanied Children in Ohio

COLUMBUS – This week, the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission published a report that explores the background of unaccompanied children arriving to Ohio from Central America. The law defines an unaccompanied child as a person under the age of 18 who has no lawful immigration status in the U.S., and has no parent or legal guardian in the U.S. available to provide care and physical custody.

The report features qualitative data that provides a firsthand account of Geovany, an unaccompanied child who arrived to Ohio in 2011, as well as interviews with professionals in Ohio who work with unaccompanied children.

To read a copy of the report, click here. A PDF of the report is also attached.

Highlights from the Report:

  • The predominant profile of an unaccompanied child in the U.S. is a young adolescent boy from Guatemala between 15 and 16 years of age.
  • Many unaccompanied children speak indigenous Mayan languages, not Spanish.
  • The vast majority of unaccompanied children are fleeing violence in their hometowns.
  • The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has placed 1,686 unaccompanied children with sponsors in Ohio since 2013.
  • Hamilton, Franklin, Tuscarawas and Butler Counties house the largest share of unaccompanied children in Ohio.