What happens to suspected illegal immigrants who arrive in Portsmouth? 

AUTHORITIES have guidelines they routinely follow when an immigration related incident unfolds in the UK.

This morning in Portsmouth, 31 people – suspected to be illegal immigrants – were found in the back of a lorry travelling along Quartremaine Road, Copnor. 

Police dealing with 32 suspected illegal immigrants found in a lorry in Portsmouth this morning. Picture: Habibur Rahman

But after police work to get groups like them into their own vehicles, what happens next?

What happens to migrants if they reach the UK? 

There are no statistics on the number of illegal migrants who make it to the UK and avoid detection from the authorities, however a paper from Migration Watch UK says ‘25,000 per year’ would be a ‘very low estimate’. 

When incidents of clandestine (secret) entry are discovered, individuals found are normally dealt with by police first while a criminal investigation is carried out. 

Once the case is then judged to be an immigration matter, the Home Office gets involved. 

VIDEO: Police find 32 suspected illegal immigrants after Portsmouth lorry raid

What happens after that? 

Individuals are then processed by immigration enforcement officers and questioned about where they have come from, what their personal circumstances are and what their reasons are for coming to the UK. 

If it is deemed the migrants are in the UK illegally and they do not go on to claim asylum, they are then served removal notice papers – with officials given discretion to decide whether they are detained or bailed as arrangements for their deportation continue. 

IN PICTURES: The scale of the immigration incident in Portsmouth 

Where are migrants detained? 

Suspected illegal immigrants are detained at least 10 locations across the UK. The closest to Portsmouth is Brook House, in Gatwick, but there are others in Oxfordshire, Middlesex, Lanarkshire, Manchester and Lincolnshire, for example. 

Where migrants are taken is decided on a case-by-case basis. 

To visit someone in one of the removal centres, the Home Offices advises you check: 

:: Visiting hours 

:: Whether you need to book an appointment 

:: What ID you will need to take 

:: and what items you’re allowed to take with you 

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