PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal officials say a relatively small number of the unaccompanied immigrant children who have been flooding into the United States have been sent to Oregon, Washington state and Idaho over the past six months.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says 50 immigrant children were released to sponsors in Oregon, 211 in Washington state, and 8 in Idaho between January 1 and July 7. Sponsors can include relatives, family friends, or foster parents. Prior to January, Oregon also received unaccompanied children into a Portland-based foster care program.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber said the state welcomes the children, who "do not deserve to become political fodder." More than 57,000 minors, mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, have crossed into the U.S. since October.