Fatima Claros Saravia stands with a sign she made for her brothers, Diego and Lizandro Claros Saravia. She said the family is heartbroken at the possibility they might be separated. (Rachel Chason/The Washington Post)

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Wednesday his office is working to stop the planned deportation of Lizandro and Diego Claros Saravia, who were detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials last week.

Van Hollen called the Claros Saravia brothers “exemplary Marylanders” who have prioritized their educations and given back to the community. The brothers, who live with their family in Gaithersburg, entered the United States illegally in 2009, fleeing violence in their native El Salvador.

“It’s important to go after MS-13 gang members, but it is an insult to decency and common sense for Diego and Lizandro to be targeted for deportation,” Van Hollen said in a statement Wednesday morning. “Diego and Lizandro should not be victims of inaction in Washington or this Administration’s disturbing efforts to punish those who have done nothing wrong.”

Lizandro Claros Saravia, 19, had a scholarship to play college soccer in North Carolina. His teammates at the Bethesda Soccer Club are protesting his deportation.

He and his brother Diego, 22, who have no criminal records, were detained last week in Baltimore after a regular check-in with authorities.