A 6-year-old girl from El Salvador is safe at an El Paso shelter after allegedly entering the country illegally with a group of immigrants, including her mother.
Immigration officials said the woman turned the little girl over to smugglers at the U.S. - Mexico border in Arizona.
It's a storyline seen too often by the Salvation Army's Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force in El Paso.
The little girl was brought to El Paso because there is no room in Arizona shelters for minors in her situation, according to the consul general for El Salvador in Arizona.
Immigration officials are working to find relatives.
"You have a victim, they've been crossed, and of course that's smuggling. Once they get across the border, that becomes trafficking," said Virginia McCrimmon, of the Task Force.
She said that's when the services of the Salvation Army come in, but lately it's been a challenge.
A 2005 grant has run out, making it difficult for the Salvation Army and the nearly 20 social service agencies it funds to assist victims, many of them children.
"We don't have facilities for these children that are caught in the middle because they aren't reunited with their parents, and they are here alone," said McCrimmon.
In October of this year, the Salvation Army could get part of a $500,000 grant from the Department of Justice.
The funding would not have been made available without the help of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
Now, both agencies have to work closely to enhance services to combat human trafficking.
If the grant is approved, the agencies would split the $500,000.
Sheriff's officials said it would be enough to assign a deputy to head their anti-human trafficking department and provide training for deputies to better identify trafficking cases.
The Salvation Army would use its half of the grant to provide some of simplest services it just can't afford right now.
"I can't even provide phone cards for these individuals to call home once they are rescued. A lot of times, we don't have money for food. We do need to provide those comforts to those individuals," said McCrimmon.
A 2005 report from the Texas Attorney General's Office stated that in one year, about 18,000 immigrants travel from El Paso to Houston on Interstate 10, considered a major corridor for immigrants, and one in five will become a victim of trafficking.