Homeless migrants in Liverpool are set to be deported
The group were detained as part of an “intelligence led operation” in January and now face being kicked out of the UK.
A 50-year-old Latvian man and a 37-year-old Polish man are currently in a detention centre awaiting removal, while three other men were also detained but have since been released.
The released men, originating from Lithuania and Poland and aged in their twenties and thirties, have been ordered to regularly report to Immigration Enforcement.
Officials may decide at a later date that they too will be deported.
Those deported will also be refused entry to the UK for the next 12 months.
A spokesman for the Home Office said they consider rough sleeping “an abuse of free movement rights”.
They said: “Those EU citizens wishing to stay beyond three months can only do so where they are exercising a treaty right.
The Home Office said homeless migrants were breaking free movement rights
“Exercising a treaty right in this context means they must be working, self-employed, self-sufficient or a student.
“We consider rough sleeping an abuse of free movement rights even where it takes place in the first three months of an EU national’s residence in the UK.
“We will take action against foreign nationals who refuse to find alternative accommodation, including removal from the UK.
“The response of enforcement officers is taken on a case-by-case basis when they encounter rough sleepers and will be proportionate to their personal circumstances.”
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The group are set to be deported from the UK
Mayor Joe Anderson said the deportation operation highlighted how complex the situation was.
He said: “People come into our city from far and wide with very complex needs and our focus has to be on those who really need our help.
The migrants were discovered sleeping rough in Liverpool
"This is why we are rated so highly by Public Health England for our services, but we also need to be remain focussed on those with genuine needs that we will accept our help.
“We have a variety of services at different levels to suit all the different needs people have and anyone in need should speak to the Whitechapel as they do their rounds on the streets.”