PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:53
Will Trump's order reunite families immediately?
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:23
Senator: Family separation is kidnapping
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 16:  An American flag flies along a section of the U.S.-Mexico border fence on July 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. The entire Southwest border saw 34,114 U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions in the month of June compared with 40,338 in May.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Mario Tama/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 16: An American flag flies along a section of the U.S.-Mexico border fence on July 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. The entire Southwest border saw 34,114 U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions in the month of June compared with 40,338 in May. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:57
Hear: Immigrant moms plead with judge for kids
U.S. Border Patrol agents take a father and son from Honduras into custody near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 near Mission, Texas. The asylum seekers were then sent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center for possible separation. U.S. border authorities are executing the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy towards undocumented immigrants. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also said that domestic and gang violence in immigrants' country of origin would no longer qualify them for political-asylum status. John Moore/Getty Images
PHOTO: John Moore/Getty Images
U.S. Border Patrol agents take a father and son from Honduras into custody near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 near Mission, Texas. The asylum seekers were then sent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center for possible separation. U.S. border authorities are executing the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy towards undocumented immigrants. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also said that domestic and gang violence in immigrants' country of origin would no longer qualify them for political-asylum status. John Moore/Getty Images
Now playing
01:26
Parents of 71 children still unidentified
Now playing
01:48
You heard her cry for her mom. See their reunion
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:34
Trump official: Separations are saving lives
PHOTO: Emanuella Grinberg/CNN
Now playing
03:16
Watch daughter wait for separated mom's arrival
U.S. Border Patrol agents take a father and son from Honduras into custody near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 near Mission, Texas. The asylum seekers were then sent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center for possible separation. U.S. border authorities are executing the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy towards undocumented immigrants. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also said that domestic and gang violence in immigrants' country of origin would no longer qualify them for political-asylum status. John Moore/Getty Images
PHOTO: John Moore/Getty Images
U.S. Border Patrol agents take a father and son from Honduras into custody near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 near Mission, Texas. The asylum seekers were then sent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center for possible separation. U.S. border authorities are executing the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy towards undocumented immigrants. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also said that domestic and gang violence in immigrants' country of origin would no longer qualify them for political-asylum status. John Moore/Getty Images
Now playing
00:57
Most toddlers still separated from families
Young migrant children, whose faces can not be shown, are seen at the US Customs and Border Protection Facility in Tucson, Arizona during a visit by US First Lady Melania Trump, June 28, 2018. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Young migrant children, whose faces can not be shown, are seen at the US Customs and Border Protection Facility in Tucson, Arizona during a visit by US First Lady Melania Trump, June 28, 2018. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:44
Only 54 children to be reunited by deadline
BROWNSVILLE, TX - JUNE 22:  A crying  Honduran woman and her child wait along the border bridge after being denied into the Texas city of Brownsville which has become dependent on the daily crossing into and out of Mexico on June 22, 2018 in Brownsville, Texas. Immigration has once again been put in the spotlight as Democrats and Republicans spar over the detention of children and families seeking asylum at the border. Before President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that halts the practice of separating families who were seeking asylum, over 2,300 immigrant children had been separated from their parents in the  zero-tolerance policy for border crossers.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
BROWNSVILLE, TX - JUNE 22: A crying Honduran woman and her child wait along the border bridge after being denied into the Texas city of Brownsville which has become dependent on the daily crossing into and out of Mexico on June 22, 2018 in Brownsville, Texas. Immigration has once again been put in the spotlight as Democrats and Republicans spar over the detention of children and families seeking asylum at the border. Before President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that halts the practice of separating families who were seeking asylum, over 2,300 immigrant children had been separated from their parents in the zero-tolerance policy for border crossers. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:41
Hear emotional phone calls from parents separated from their kids
mother daughter reunion
mother daughter reunion
Now playing
02:12
Watch a mother and child reunite after 55 days
BROWNSVILLE, TX - JUNE 22:  A crying  Honduran woman and her child wait along the border bridge after being denied into the Texas city of Brownsville which has become dependent on the daily crossing into and out of Mexico on June 22, 2018 in Brownsville, Texas. Immigration has once again been put in the spotlight as Democrats and Republicans spar over the detention of children and families seeking asylum at the border. Before President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that halts the practice of separating families who were seeking asylum, over 2,300 immigrant children had been separated from their parents in the  zero-tolerance policy for border crossers.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
BROWNSVILLE, TX - JUNE 22: A crying Honduran woman and her child wait along the border bridge after being denied into the Texas city of Brownsville which has become dependent on the daily crossing into and out of Mexico on June 22, 2018 in Brownsville, Texas. Immigration has once again been put in the spotlight as Democrats and Republicans spar over the detention of children and families seeking asylum at the border. Before President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that halts the practice of separating families who were seeking asylum, over 2,300 immigrant children had been separated from their parents in the zero-tolerance policy for border crossers. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:02
HHS won't give exact number of kids in custody
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:13
Berman: DNA test is de facto admission of no plan
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:39
Doctor describes trauma of migrant children
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
00:52
Mother reunited with her son after 32 days
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:45
Immigration attorney represented 3-year-old
(CNN) —  

Hundreds of migrant children forcibly separated from their parents were transferred thousands of miles away from the border, and some already have been placed in foster care, officials said.

After crossing from the south, some children were taken to facilities along the border, including a new temporary shelter in Tornillo, Texas, while others headed to facilities as far away as New York.

Locations are chosen for a variety of reasons, said a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services. They include space availability, accommodations, demographics of the children and proximity to potential sponsors.

“There’s an effort to place them as closely as possible to where they’re going to be eventually reunified with a sponsor or a family member,” he said.

He added it is “pretty rare” someone would go to New York, for instance, only because of space. It would probably be because an immediate family member is in the New York facility, the spokesman explained.

Without a publicly accessible database to track children, lawyers and case workers are determining locations probably by pulling state licenses and going shelter by shelter to figure it out, the spokesman said.

“How they move through these systems is largely space available and resources,” said David Thronson, Michigan State University law professor and co-founder of the Immigration Law Clinic.

President Donald Trump has reversed a policy that resulted in the separation of 2,300 children from their parents, but it’s unclear if or how those children will be reunited with their parents.

HHS has more than 100 shelters in 17 states to house unaccompanied children. Some of those facilities already are helping children who were separated from their families.

Federal authorities have been tight-lipped about where exactly all the children are held, but here are a few states where they have been sent.

PHOTO: CNN

Florida

The Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Florida is a former Job Corps site that has been used as a shelter for unaccompanied minors since 2014. Photos taken this week showed boys and girls at the shelter.

The Homestead facility serves both teenage boys and girls.
PHOTO: Health and Human Services
The Homestead facility serves both teenage boys and girls.

On Tuesday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar expressing concern over “unconfirmed reports” that the shelter is “potentially holding children who have been forcibly removed from their families.”

In his letter, Scott demanded confirmation of reports that children separated from their families were being sent to the Homestead shelter. He also requested information about health screening protocols at the border and what, if any, health and education resources were being provided to children placed in Florida.

Michigan

Children as young as 3 months old have been transferred to facilities in Michigan, according to the state’s Department of Civil Rights.

“We have received reports and are very concerned that the children arriving here are much younger than those who have been transported here in the past,” said Agustin V. Arbulu, executive director of the Department of Civil Rights.

At least 81 children have arrived in Grand Rapids since April, CNN affiliate WXMI reported.

Dona Abbott, director of refugee and foster care programs with Bethany Christian Services, said the children are in temporary foster care homes and group placements across the state.

Arbulu called the separation of families a federal issue but said his department is monitoring the situation because it “has a duty to make sure their civil rights are protected.”

“While we commend the work of resettlement agencies in Michigan attempting to serve these children with dignity and compassion, nothing can replace the love, sense of security and care of a parent,” he said.

New York

Hundreds of migrant children, including a 9-month-old, have been taken to New York since the practice of separating families began, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

At least 239 children are in the care of the Cayuga Centers in Harlem, which runs day programs for them. Some are in foster care, and others could be with relatives.

De Blasio said some of the children have bed bugs, lice, chicken pox and other contagious diseases. Some are too young to communicate and need significant mental health services.

“And this is just one of the centers in New York City,” de Blasio said.

It’s unclear how many separated children are in the city.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his office is aware of more than 70 immigrant children in federal shelters in New York. Cuomo plans to sue “to protect the health and well-being of children” held in New York and elsewhere, he said in a statement.

South Carolina

Five migrant children have arrived in South Carolina since last month.

The children are ages 7 to 11, and most will be placed in foster care in the Columbia area, CNN affiliate WCIV reported.

“They don’t understand what’s happening, or why they have been separated from their parents,” said Rebecca Gibson, a program coordinator for transitional foster care with Lutheran Services Carolinas. “The children don’t know if they will be safe. They don’t know where their parents are, and no one has given them any information.”

Gibson said only one child has been released to a sponsor in the United States.

“We don’t know the circumstances of how the separation happened, or if the children were able to say goodbye,” she said.

Texas

Most infants and children are being held at new and old facilities in several cities, including McAllen, Tornillo and Brownsville, after they cross into the United States.

Some children under 13 are staying at newly built facilities such as a former private home about 20 miles from the US-Mexico border in the town of Combes, operated by Southwest Key Programs.

Democratic US Rep. Filemon Vela Jr. of Texas said he toured a new shelter in Brownsville, where about 40 children under 10 are staying.

One room held four infants, two of whom were accompanied by their teenage mothers, he said. The children receive constant attention, Vela said. “People are doing what they can under the circumstances.”

Virginia

A Bristow, Virginia, facility serves infants and children.
PHOTO: Health and Human Services
A Bristow, Virginia, facility serves infants and children.

One facility for the children is in Bristow, more than 30 miles from the nation’s capital. Youth for Tomorrow, a nonprofit founded by former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, has been partially used as a shelter for unaccompanied minors for several years.

Photos released this week by HHS showed girls wearing uniforms sitting in an auditorium, a set of baby high chairs, a room with cribs and a woman carrying a baby.

CNN’s Emanuella Grinberg, Eric Levenson and Tal Kopan contributed to this report.