Eleven people have been arrested during an illegal immigration operation targeting a number of addresses in Willesden, north-west London, the UK Border Agency announced last week.
Acting on ‘intelligence’, immigration officers, with Metropolitan Police officers and Brent Council staff, carried out dawn raids at 3 addresses in Strode Road on Thursday 16 September.
The team found 50 people inside the addresses and in accommodation constructed to the rear, and arrested 11 of them – 7 Filipino women, 3 Chinese men and a Chinese woman – for a variety of immigration offences.
The seven Filipino women were mentioned in a release posted on the website of the British Embassy in Manila.
The UK Border Agency said they will now seek to remove them from the country. The 7 Filipinos and 2 of the Chinese men remain in detention pending their removal. The other 2 Chinese nationals were granted immigration bail while travel documents are sought for them.
The landlord of the property now faces investigation by council planning and health and safety officials.
The enforcement operation was part of planned nationwide action by the UK Border Agency to tackle illegal immigration and organised immigration crime.
Steve Fisher, head of the UK Border Agency’s Brent local immigration team, said:
‘This is the latest in a series of operations designed to find and remove those who have no right to live or work in the UK.
‘We continue to work closely with the police, Brent Council and other agencies to target those who are here illegally, and more raids like this are planned in Brent and across London.’
Anyone with information about immigration crime can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit the Crimestoppers website where anonymity can be assured, the UK Border advised.
There are an estimated 500,000 to 750,000 people living illegally in the UK, but there are no plans to offer an amnesty.
However, the 14 year ‘long residence’ rule still stands. This concession, which some call an ‘amnesty’, allows people who have resided in the UK for over 14 years, even if they have done so illegally, to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or permanent residence.
Proving residence can be difficult and if the person has previously been served with a deportation or removal notice the application may be rejected.
Evelie Padadac of Bison UK Immigration Advisers said:
“Many students tend to ‘bury their heads in the sand’, work all the hours they can and hope the problem will go away. But if you are in the UK on a student visa (tier 4 or the old style visa) you must be in enrolled with a college or university and in full time study. If you are not your visa is technically invalid.
“We have helped students find new providers after their college has closed down or lost its licence.”
Evelie urges students to take professional advice and she is offering a free consultation.
You can contact Evelie on 0208 905 1822 or email your enquiry to the address below.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: