BALTIMORE -- Two local brothers were sent back to their native country after appearing at a regular check-in with immigration officials, CBS Baltimore reports.
The family of Lizandro and Diego Claros is at a loss for words. Their mother nearly collapsed hours after being hit with the crushing news.
When they thought they had it all, family and friends said it was ripped away. They were living the American dream, but have now been deported.
Several years ago, the two brothers entered the country illegally to flee violence in El Salvador. They've battled deportation since, but have also thrived. One was even on his way to college on a partial soccer scholarship.
"These are boys that worked hard every day," said Bethesda Soccer Club coach Matt Ney.
During a recent routine check-in with ICE, the two were detained at the Howard County Detention Center and the deportation process started.
"I knew them to be amazing young men who did everything they could to comply with the law," said immigrant attorney Nick Katz.
It's all part of an immigration crackdown since President Donald Trump took office that has sparked daily protests and a tense climate nationwide.
ICE released a statement that reads in part: "ICE continues to focus its resources on those who pose a threat to public safety. ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removeable aliens from potential enforcement."
Friends and family of the brothers are pointing the finger at the Trump administration.
"They showed up for every court date, every ice appearance and under the Obama administration they would've been eligible to apply for the expansion of DACA," Katz said.
ICE also said that both brothers were instructed to purchase a departure ticket several times over the past year.
The brothers have no criminal records and would not have been a priority for deportation by the Obama administration.
The family's attorney said being deported means it will be much harder for the brothers to re-enter the United States legally. The process could take years.