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Russia plans to set up centres for temporary keeping of illegal migrants before deportation

August 06, 2013, 13:16 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara

MOSCOW, August 6 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian state authorities launched an uncompromising struggle against illegal migration. It looks like this will not be another temporary campaign over the deportation of undesirable guests from the country, but the process, which is based on the law and envisages the finding and deportation of people, who turned out to be in Russia without identity documents, to their homeland.

The Federal Migration Service (FMS) has drafted a bill, which regulates the issues of keeping and deportation of illegal migrants to the homeland and substantiates the need to create in Russia “special centres for the keeping under the court verdict foreign citizens, who are subject to administrative expulsion from Russia or deportation.”

It is planned that special detention centres will be formed in 81 from 83 Russian constituent territories. As many as 21 special detention centres function in the country. Now these, so-called camps of illegal migrants are subordinate to the Interior Ministry, but they will be put under the authority of the migration service starting from 2014. Meanwhile, FMS asks the country’s leadership to increase by 4,600 people the staff of the service.

The scale of inflow of illegal gastarbeiters from CIS and non-CIS states to Russia is incomparable with the number of policemen and migration officers. According to the estimates of the experts, only from three to six million Uzbek citizens are staying in Russia. A much higher inflow of illegal migrants in Russia is coming from Tajikistan and Vietnam. China, Syria, Egypt and even Afghanistan deliver the illegal manpower.

Even experienced FMS employees were shocked when an underground clothes-making factory, where 1,400 Vietnamese citizens worked, were found on the outskirt of Moscow at the end of July. Most of them lacked the identity documents, they failed to explain how they had got in Russia. The employers were keeping these slaves of the 21st century, as the migrants did not have a right to leave the territory of the factory, where they live in cramped premises and in anti-sanitary conditions.

Naturally, FMS faced the question, where to accommodate such a large number of Vietnamese, before bringing them back to the homeland. It was decided to place army tents, bio-toilets on a free territory and to provide the feeding for illegal migrants.

To settle the problem of temporary keeping of illegal migrants in normal conditions before the deportation it is needed to envisage a huge sum in the federal budget to build 81 special detention centres. Meanwhile, the problem of building housing, kindergartens and other social facilities is very acute in Russia. Enormous monetary funds will have to be taken from the budget to buy air and railway tickets for the delivery of illegal migrants in the Middle East and the Far East and Central Asian countries.

This partially explains the growth of xenophobic sentiments in the Russian society. For instance, last weekend in Moscow and St. Petersburg the nationalistic skinheads staged raids at the vegetable stands in the streets in order to intimidate the migrants under the disguise of identity checks and product quality checks. The sellers of melons and watermelons were running out at the sight of the skinheads, and the participants in the raids were giving away their goods to satisfied by-passers. Luckily, the riot police suppressed these raids. A group of nationalists, against which a criminal case for hooliganism was opened, was detained in Moscow.

Xenophobic moods in Russia are being fuelled up by the fact that the employers are more inclined to hire a cheap manpower from the gastarbeiters, the unemployment rate in the country is at a quite high level of about four million people.

This should be recalled that massive police raids to detain illegal migrants began after a brawl at the Matveyevsky market in Moscow, where a police officer had got a head injury on July 27. The Russian president urged the police to establish order at the markets immediately. For several days of inspections over 2,000 migrants were detained.

FMS decided to hold similar actions to find illegal migrants in all Russian regions.

Professor of the Higher School of Economics, Director General of the radio station Business-FM Mikhail Berger told Itar-Tass that he sees a solution to the problem in eradicating corruption in the law enforcement agencies, which turn a blind eye on an uncontrolled inflow of illegal migrants in the country by means of taking bribes. Meanwhile, Berger finds the labour of gastarbeiters as an important integral part of economy in any highly industrialized country in the world, but, in his words, “the process of attracting the manpower from abroad should be regulated toughly.”

Commissioner of human rights in Moscow Alexander Muzykantsky named the illegal migration as “a disgusting phenomenon” to Itar-Tass, “It is difficult for me to protect the rights of illegal migrants, to whom the employers do not pay the salary and are keeping in improper conditions, because the migrants lack the documents. The ombudsman considers as a reason for this phenomenon “a massive profit, which economic entities receive from the use of a cheap manpower.” In the view of Professor of the Moscow State University Muzykantsky, to check in the flow of illegal migrants in Russia it is needed to take the efforts against the employers, who exploit people illegally. “You heard that the authorities punished just one economic entity, which had brought illegal migrants to Russia? So, I did not hear about it. Representatives of the law enforcement agencies cannot resist a temptation of illegal income,” he told Itar-Tass. From his point of view, the attraction of a cheap manpower in Russia -“is the keeping of underdevelopment, when instead of a dredger he hires four Tajiks.”

The Moscow ombudsman dwelt on his business trip to Tajikistan, where he will study the experience of South Korea in the attraction of labour migrants in the country. As many as 20,000 Tajik spouses are passing a training course as attendant personnel at the special training centre. The women learn the skills of handling with home electric appliances, the men learn the vocation of electric technicians and plumbers. Each family will receive an invitation to arrive in South Korea. “Civilized countries, including Russia, should regulate the arrival of migrants, as there is a good deal of world experience in this issue,” the professor said in conclusion.