Russia Aims at Legalization of Migrants

As experts say, the number of illegal migrants living in Russia is 1.5 million people
As experts say, the number of illegal migrants living in Russia is 1.5 million people. Labor activity of five million people is not registered as it is stipulated by the law.

A governmental commission for migration policy headed by RF Minister overseeing nationalities' affairs, Vladimir Zorin, focused its activity on Russia's Voronezh region this week. The commission visited the Borisoglebsky district and held the first outdoor session in the regional administration right after the visit. Improvement of governmental support to migrant organizations was the main subject on the agenda; a press-conference followed the session.

As it was stated at the press-conference, the all-Russian population census held in October 2002 revealed that migration policy must be one of the most important aspects of governmental activity. Vladimir Zorin said, as statistics confirmed, Russia was a country mostly receiving people. Regarding the number of migrants received in the country, Russia is rated third after the USA and Germany. Within a period between the two recent population censuses, Russia received 6 million migrants. 

The number of labor migrants coming to Russia is increasing every year. At present, 119 countries are participating in this process.

As the First Deputy Director of the Federal Migration Service, Igor Yunash said at the press-conference, unfortunately, the scale of illegal migration is considerable in Russia. “Russia introduced special migration cards for the sake of controlling the migration process in the country. As of now, about 2,300,000 migration cards gave been already issued here. Introduction of quotas for manpower became another important measure for controlling the process. Thus, consequently, the number of employers asking for permission to employ foreigners has doubled.

As for the crime situation in the country, Igor Yunash says the share of crimes committed by migrants is not great. However, as he says, ethnic groups pose a real danger now: they are keeping in awe those countrymen who have come in Russia to work. "In this connection, it is of particular importance to legalize labor migrants."

As Vladimir Zorin said at the press-conference, this year over 500 million rubles will be appropriated from the federal budget for purchase of apartments for migrants. 322 million rubles will be granted to the indigent as subsidies. These are just the first steps, much work is still to be done in connection with the problem.

Alesja Tarusskikh
Kommuna newspaper

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Author`s name Michael Simpson