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Employers may have to pay for deportation of illegal immigrants

August 11, 2014, 16:49 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Bobylev

MOSCOW, August 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Expenses for deportation of illegal immigrants from Russia should be responsibilities of their employers, not of the country’s budget, say authors of the bill presented to the State Duma. IITAR-TASS asked experts, and they call the initiative fair but tough to make sure it is observed.

The United Nations Organization ranks Russia second after the US in number of immigrants. Russia’s Prosecutor General Yury Chaika said 17 million foreigners entered the Russian Federation last year, and only 1.5 million of those work officially - the Federal Migration Service says. Only 720,000 have residence permits.

Illegal immigrants not only push out Russians from the job market in construction, services and trade. Quite often they are involved in criminal groups, thus causing ethnic conflicts.

“Since in 2013 the Russian Federation deported over 250,000 immigrants, the budget’s expenses were over 1.5 billion rubles (about $43 million). Thus, the expenses to deport illegal labor immigrants were covered by taxpayers,” the bill’s author MP Mikhail Serduyk said.

“The idea to deport illegal immigrants at the expense of those who hire them seems reasonable and fair. We are aware of the public opinion, where taxpayers are not happy to pay for illegal immigrants’ stay at temporary facilities and for their further deportation,” deputy head of the Centre for Political Technologies Alexei Makarkin told ITAR-TASS.

“Besides undertaking travel expenses to send out illegal immigrants, the state budget also pays for their temporary accommodation, food, medical assistance and security to be sure they do not flee to Russia’s numerous cities and towns,” the expert said.

“On the other hand, the question is - which way and how soon would it be possible to receive money from an employer for deportation of an illegal immigrant? The government cannot be waiting for several months and thus to be obliged to pay for the immigrants’ stay at temporary accommodation facilities.”

“As we all are aware of some corrupted officials, who would not notice illegal immigrants working, employers are most likely either to delay payments or even argue them at courts,” he said.

“It seems a much better option to send out immigrants at the expense of the budget, and then to make employers pay fines for having used illegal force. Here, a fine should be maximum high. I cannot see any other ways to make employers more responsible,” the expert said.

Though even now the fine for using illegal labour is between 300,000 and one million rubles (about $30,000), you would not hear too many stories about major businesses paying the fines.

“Migration services say often that if an immigrant does not have a work contract, it would be complicated to prove he or she has anything to do with a certain company. However, the migration service has its ways to see who and on what basis hires an immigrant. The other day, Russia’s prosecution authority supported the intention of the migration service to investigate into crimes related to illegal migration,” economic expert Yury Boldyrev, former deputy head of the Russian Audit Chamber, told ITAR-TASS.

“Revealing illegal immigrants and their deportation from Russia require budget expenses of many billions. This is a huge problem. Thus, the bill on deportation of illegal immigrants at the expense of employers should be most tough: it should state who and within what time is doing what, or who controls the law is observed fully. At the same time, the law should specify mandatory respect for human rights,” the expert said.


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