2 brothers who played soccer in Bethesda were deported

A family in Bethesda are in despair after two of their sons, both local soccer stars, were deported on Wednesday back to El Salvador.

BETHESDA, MD. (WUSA9) - A Bethesda family held arms on Wednesday while weeping, after their two sons were deported back to El Salvador.

The Claros family addressed the media at CASA in Hyattsville today with tears in their eyes. Nineteen-year-old Lizandro Claros and his 22-year-old brother Diego landed in El Salvador today after being detained by ICE in Baltimore Friday.

The two brothers came here in 2009 as children using fraudulent passports. CASA lawyers say the two brothers never missed an ICE meeting, but were deported today under the directive of the Trump Administration.

The brother's coach, Matt Ney, said the two boys worked every day to make their lives better and often walked to practice to the Bethesda Soccer Club.

The Claros family says the brothers do have some family in El Salvador, but they fear for their safety. A rally is planned for them at the White House August 15th.

PREVIOUS STORY: 

There’s been a large debate about undocumented adults entering into the United States illegally -- but what about the people who came as children?

There’s a fight in Montgomery County on just that and it involves two star athletes.

In Spanish, Lucia Saravia told WUSA9 her sons eat and play soccer. Actually, they eat to play soccer, she corrected herself. She says that’s their world.

“Ellos me da la fuerza,” she added in Spanish. In English it means, “They give me the strength,” she continued, “to get up every dark day.”

Saravia is the mother of four children but on Friday, her two sons, 19-year-old Lizandro and 22-year-old Diego Claros Saravia, were detained at routine ICE check-in. The two are members of an elite team, the Bethesda Soccer Club.

Lizandro's so good, he earned a scholarship to play at a North Carolina college.
 
Now their mother is pleading for those in charge to have a conscience.

What we know from ICE: the brothers came to the US illegally with fraudulent passports. This was in 2009 when they were around 11 and 14-years-old.

They've been appealing their case but were told last year to purchase two tickets back to El Salvador.

If they go back, their mother and now teammates fear they could be killed.

"The immediate action is frustration. Then follows up with anger,” said Lizandro’s coach, Matt Ney over-the-phone.

He told WUSA9, "I could have a conversation, a rational conversation with anyone from the political spectrum uh, about adults and immigration policies about adults but when a child has been brought here at 10-11-years-old and they don't have choices … they do everything that is expected of them and then to turn around and detain them for doing the right thing, what do we expect from the rest of the citizens in our community?"

Ney says the team is now also gearing up for the deportation fight. They’re planning to join immigrant activists outside of the ICE’ Southeast D.C. Headquarters for a protest on Thursday.

An attorney representing the brothers says they both graduated from Montgomery County High Schools and that neither of them have criminal records in the U.S.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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