The target of action was the £130m Circus Street mixed use development being built by Henry Construction for developer U+I.
Seventeen men were arrested. Among them were Albanian, Indian, Ukrainian and Kazakhstani nationals, according to reports.
Local newspaper The Argus reported back in February that work – and play – on the site was making life ‘a living nightmare’ for neighbours A couple who live across the road told the paper that not only had work been taking place outside agreed times and site rubbish had been spread across the housing estate but there had been after-hours parties on site with a live band.
Members of the public have previously reported builders sleeping overnight at the site.
According to the Brighton & Hove News website, police were investigating an organised crime group that had been trafficking Albanians into the site.
A Home Office spokesman said: “Acting on intelligence, Immigration Enforcement officers are conducting an enforcement visit in Brighton. It would be inappropriate to comment further on an ongoing operation.”
A spokeswoman for U+I said: “U+I is committed to ethical practice and our contracts with construction contractors require that they abide by employment and immigration law and that all site personnel are qualified to come on site.
“We are aware that Home Office officials have visited the site this morning, and we are unable to provide any further details until their investigation is complete.”