Officials with the Ministry of Labor of the Russian Federation put forward a suggestion to cut the quota for issuing work permits to foreign citizens in 2018 by 20 percent. Pravda.Ru requested an expert opinion on the subject from human rights activist, member of the Public Council under the Federal Migration Service of Russia, Lidiya Grafova.
"The decision of the Ministry of Labor, in my opinion, speaks of incompetence of those who made the decision. The worst thing here is that no one in Russia knows the total amount of required additional workforce. It is impossible to accurately calculate this number, as a huge number of Russians work in the shadow sector.
"As for migrants, a restriction of 20% may trigger an increase in illegal migration. Unfortunately, officials may often believe that people are like tin soldiers, whom they can put in one place and remove in another. A person who is going to go to Russia knows that Russia will give them a rough welcome.
"In my opinion, one should give more rights to regions that could quickly increase the number of quotas to make the long procedure shorter. People may become illegal migrants against their own will, because the procedure may take too much time."
"Not that long ago, the Russian authorities put forward an initiative to tighten punishment for hiring illegal migrants and for providing them with housing on the territory of Russia. Today they proposed to reduce the number of legal migrants. Are these decisions the links of one chain?"
"Illegal workforce is very beneficial for employers, and there are illegal immigrants in every country. However, the law should not drive people into a corner, forcing them to believe that a way out is a bribe. It's no secret that migration has become a hotbed for corruption."
"In what areas do they hire migrants most?"
"The household sector goes first, then it is construction."
"Is it possible to say that the situation with migrants in Russia is improving?"
"Human rights defenders are mostly concerned about the quickly changing legislation. Russia's legislation in the field of migration has been unmerciful and repressive. It makes us believe that it will be hard for Russia to attract migrants soon. They will simply go to other countries, where they give a better welcome to newcomers. Russia needs migrants, especially if we think about the need to populate the Far East."
Interviewed by Oksana Orlovskaya
Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru