LIZANDRO CLAROS SARAVIA was just one year old when his father, José, fled El Salvador and slipped into the United States. Lizandro's mother went next, then an older brother and sister ... until finally, in 2009, when Lizandro was 10, he and another older brother, Diego, joined their family in Germantown, Md. The difference: Lizandro and Diego were busted on their way in with fake visas, and they lived the next eight years under a temporary stay of deportation.
José worked construction, and to keep his youngest boys out of trouble, he enrolled them in a sports academy, where they thrived on the soccer field. Lizandro was headed to play on a scholarship at Louisburg Junior College in North Carolina when a standard ICE check-in last August turned the brothers' lives upside down: Agents apprehended the brothers and five days later deported them to El Salvador.
The Saravias' story doesn't end there. Earlier this winter, for a feature available now on SI TV, SI visited Lizandro and Diego, who have resettled in Nicaragua and joined the soccer team at a satellite campus of Florida-based Keiser University. What we found: Soccer has once again provided a shelter of sorts for the brothers. Says Lizandro, "When I'm on the field, with the ball, there's nothing—no problems."
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