MARYLAND - Teammates and activists were planning a protest for Thursday morning until the shock waves hit supporters: the Claros brothers had been deported.
Their mother nearly fainted at a Tuesday press conference held at CASA offices after they received the news. A CASA Spokesperson tells WUSA9, Wednesday was supposed to be college move-in day for 19-year-old Lizandro Claros.
Their coach says it was supposed to be an exciting day for many of their players as well. Instead, they were angry and heartbroken. Multiple players talked to WUSA9 through FaceTime from their move-in locations, the University of Louisville to the University of Maryland.
"It's brutal and the community's shocked. The community's devastate," said Coach Matt Ney.
The Bethesda Soccer Club members believe this situation wasn't the Claros brothers' fault. Their reaction: they're getting involved.
"This' definitely opened my eyes more because this is crazy. It's just saddening because Lizandro had like such a bright future ahead of him so it's just sad to see someone's opportunity slip away like this," said Elijah Amo from the University of Louisville.
"My main concern was just losing a true friend and someone who was really striving towards his goals in the classroom, on the field," said Foster McCune, who said he'll be playing with Georgetown University.
Matt Di Rosa, another teammate, said, "This definitely has motivated me even more to help fellow immigrants like Lizandro ... criminals is a different story but Lizandro, he didn't do anything wrong and he deserves to be here."
Their coach did attend a 2 p.m. press conference at CASA offices. He later told WUSA9, his message to Congressional leaders is, "Spend 10-minutes with a family that's in hiding or a family that's been separated and tell me that the policies right now are not inhumane?"
WUSA9 reported on the brothers' case Tuesday night. The brothers had been detained after a routine ICE check-in this past Friday.
An ICE Spokesperson says the Claros brothers entered on fraudulent passports as minors some eight-years ago. They were around 11 and 14-year-old at the time and were allowed to stay in the U.S. as they fought their cases for the past four to five years.
CASA Attorney Nick Katz says this was the fastest they've ever seen anyone detained at a routine check-in and deported. He also described the chances of the brothers being allowed to return legally as slime to none. Katz tells WUSA9 it depends on the case but usually there's about a 10-year bar on those deported being allowed back into the U.S.
Their teammates tell WUSA 9 their goal is to get Lizandro Claros back on the path to college. He had earned a scholarship to play soccer at a North Carolina school.
However, right now they're just waiting to hear whether the brothers are safe. There's a State Department Travel Warning to El Salvador, the gang violence is that bad throughout the country.
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