Four illegal workers from Bangladesh have been arrested following raids on restaurants in Polegate and Eastbourne.
Acting on intelligence, Home Office immigration enforcement officers carried out the visits on Thursday last week, questioning staff to check if they had the right to work in the UK.
They arrested three men at The Viceroy in Grand Parade, Polegate.
Two aged 28 and 34 had overstayed their visas while the third, aged 20, was working in breach of his visa conditions.
When officers visited Tiffin Express in Station Street, Eastbourne, shortly after 8pm, two 19-year-old suspects attempted to escape but were stopped by the enforcement team.
One of them had overstayed his visa and was arrested.
The other was found to be working illegally but released as he has an outstanding visa application.
All those arrested are currently in immigration detention while steps are taken to remove them from the country.
The businesses were served notices warning the employers that a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out.
Carla Johnson, from the Home Office Immigration Enforcement team in Sussex, said, “We regularly carry out raids like this in Sussex and the message is clear.
“Where we find people who are in the country illegally, we will seek to remove them.
“We are happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, but those who choose to break the law should know that we are out there looking for them and they will face heavy fines.
“I would urge members of the public with detailed information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact Crimestoppers by phoning 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit the websitr http://www.crimestop pers-uk.org.