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SANTA ANA, Calif. (CBSMiami/AP) — Federal data published Thursday shows Florida is the state receiving the most unaccompanied children caught at the U.S. border.

Texas, New York and California are also getting most of the children.

The data published by the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families show those four states account for 46 percent of the more than 30,000 children who have been released to sponsors this year through July 7th.

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.

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.

More news on immigration:

Guatemala, Mexico are hubs

Perry: Send children back home

Some cities welcome children

N.J. considers helping kids

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