A 25-year-old woman and 32-year-old man from Brazil have been arrested and detained by immigration officials after a raid on a Castlecaulfield home.
The arrests were made on Wednesday morning [7 October], but it unclear whether they were working in the area.
It is understood checks showed the pair were in the country illegally and are now being held pending their removal.
A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “We will send them back to Brazil [but] it’s not deportation as they haven’t committed a crime.
“Whilst we carry out the paperwork for that to happen they will remain in detention.”
Mike Golden, from the Scotland & Northern Ireland Home Office Immigration Enforcement Team, said: “As these operations demonstrate, we are working hard to arrest and remove those who abuse the UK’s immigration system. Those who choose to ignore the rules will face the consequences.
“I would urge anyone with detailed and specific information about suspected immigration abuse to contact us.”
A spokesperson for the Home Office said these arrests came after the new immigration bill, setting out the government’s plans to crack down further on illegal migration, had its first reading in parliament.
The bill includes new measures aimed at cracking down on the exploitation of low-skilled workers, increasing the punishments for employing illegal migrants, and strengthening sanctions for working illegally.
In a separate operation on the same day a 36-year-old Bangladeshi man was arrested after officers visited Bangla Bazar on Ormeau Road, Belfast, while the restaurant in which he was working was served a notice warning by officials.