WASHINGTON - Two Montgomery County brothers are in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials after they reported for a regular check-in appointment with the agency.
The brothers, 19 and 22, came to the United States from El Salvador in 2009 and are undocumented. Lizandro and Diego Claros are standouts in their Bethesda, Maryland soccer league. They also were making plans to go to college, according to the team and immigration activists.
The team said the Claros brothers were detained by ICE in Baltimore on Friday. They believe ICE is planning to deport the brothers.
On Monday, the team protested in front of the Department of Homeland Security's Northwest D.C. headquarters, calling for the Claros' release.
In a statement to FOX 5, ICE confirmed the Claros are in custody. A spokesman pointed out that both brothers had been given removal orders previously. He also said anyone in the country illegally is subject to immigration laws.
ICE said that records indicate Diego Claros was stopped at John F. Kennedy International Airport 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 were instructed to purchase departure airline tickets and leave the country. However, they have 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 United States as children. The president also said ICE would focus on violent criminals in the country illegally.