PATERSON, N.J. (PIX11) — Four-year-old Caroline Polanco wasn’t feeling too chatty when PIX11 News met her Wednesday. But her mother, Betsaida, said her little girl often speaks up at home about how much pain she’s in.
“She was always complaining about pain, and as a parent, we were really worried about her,” Betsaida said through a translator.
One of Caroline’s kidneys is abnormally sized – a condition that requires surgery.
Although Caroline is a United States citizen through her father, she lives with her mother in the Dominican Republic. But doctors there told Betsaida they didn’t have the necessary expertise to conduct the surgery.
This summer the mother and daughter packed up their things and moved to Paterson, New Jersey, hoping doctors there could save Caroline.
“You guys have more technology, and I know my daughter is going to be better here,” said Betsaida.
But the clock is ticking because Betsaida’s tourist visa expires soon at the end of November, and doctors are still running tests.
“Until we receive the results of the exam, they’re not going to give me a date. As soon as they give me the results, they’re going to give me an exact date,” said Betsaida.
On Wednesday, Paterson Councilman Luis Velez referred Betsaida’s case to a contact in Washington, D.C.
“As soon as the congressman gets involved and all the pieces are together, I don’t think it will be a problem,” said Velez.
A spokesperson for U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell told PIX11 News, “Congressman Pascrell’s office has inquired about the case and expects to hear back from immigration officials soon. As with every case we receive, our office is committed to doing everything we can to help Betsaida and her daughter Caroline.”
Gintare Grigaite is Betsaida’s immigration attorney.
“Betsaida’s case falls under the humanitarian type of case because of her citizen daughter’s medical condition. And her medical condition is severe,” said Grigaite.
Betsaida’s attorney said her immigration paperwork has already been prepared and is set to be filed before the end of this week.