Seven rough sleepers in Boston have been warned they could be kicked out of the country after a Border Agency swoop.
The six men and one woman, Polish, Lithuanian and Latvian nationals, were all said to be rough sleeping in and around Boston Library.
A spokesman for UK Border Agency (UKBA) said: “This was an operation to tackle rough sleepers, and we encountered seven people from the European economic area who we think are not fulfilling their treaty rights, which say you can stay in the UK providing you are working, seeking employment, in education, or are self-sufficient.
“If you are not doing that, you will be removed from the country.”
They have been given ‘minded to remove’ letters which state they have a month to provide evidence of the above. If they fail to do this they can be forcibly removed from the UK.
The action took place on Monday last week.
A Home Office spokesman added: “The operation in Boston was part of our regular enforcement activity, which takes place across the country on a daily basis.
“When those with no permission to be in the UK refuse to return home voluntarily we will take action to remove them.
“Under new legislation that came into effect on January 1, those who are removed will not be able to return for 12 months.”
Boston’s homeless charity, Centrepoint Outreach, says there are 39 rough sleepers in the Boston area in total.
The charity’s chief executive Liz Hopkins said: “We had 44 homeless people come to us for help in December, five of which were sofa-surfing. So that means there are 39 people living outside.
“Many are from places like Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, but there are some from the UK, one from Ireland and one from Spain too.”