WASHINGTON - Two Montgomery County brothers have been deported after they were detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials while they were reporting for a regular check-in appointment with the agency, according to an immigrant advocacy group.
CASA said the brothers, 22-year-old Diego Claros and 19-year-old Lizandro Claros, were deported to El Salvador after the duo came to the U.S. as undocumented immigrants.
"I knew them to be amazing young men who had done everything they could to comply with the law. They came here when they were children fleeing violence and unfortunately because of our broken immigration system there wasn't immediately a path available for them to get legal status here," Nick Katz, the senior manager of legal services for CASA said. "But they showed up for every court date. They showed up for every ICE appearance and under the Obama administration they would've been eligible to apply for the expansion of DACA."
The brothers were standouts in their Bethesda, Maryland soccer league and were also making plans to attend college, according to the team and immigration activists.
The team said the Claros brothers were detained by ICE in Baltimore on Friday. On Monday, the team protested in front of the Department of Homeland Security's Northwest D.C. headquarters, calling for their release.
In a previous statement to FOX 5, ICE confirmed the Claros brothers were in custody and pointed out that both brothers had been given removal orders previously.
A spokesperson also said anyone in the country illegally was subject to immigration laws.
ICE said that records indicate Diego Claros was stopped at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City in 2009 as he tried entering the U.S. with a fraudulent Guatemalan passport and visa under a different identity.
Since 2016, he and his 19-year-old brother Lizandro Claros were instructed to purchase departure airline tickets and leave the country. However, they continued to reside in Maryland.
President Donald Trump is on record saying he would act with compassion to so-called "Dreamers" -- undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
The president also said ICE would focus on violent criminals in the country illegally.