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Deportation of migrants may seriously harm economy

August 15, 2013, 12:29 UTC+3

The migration problems are often raised in the light of emerging conflicts

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The campaign against migrants who are illegally staying in Russia was launched just several weeks ago, and thousands of detained and deported home foreigners have already been reported in the regions. Experts see in this major problem for the RF economy, because migrant workers make some 7 to 8 percent of the country’s GDP.

At present, there are about 10 million migrants in the Russian territory, 1.5 million of them have work permit, 1.2 million bought patents and another 2.5 million are working illegally, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper writes. The rest came to visit their relatives and for other tourist purposes. A total of 700 thousand people have temporary stay permits or residence permits. The migration problems are often raised in the light of emerging conflicts. However, police officers often detain even Russian citizens who have non-Russian appearance, Deputy Director of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Vladimir Zorin says.

Professor of the Institute of Public Administration and Law, State University of Management, Vladimir Volokh, quoted by the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper, believes that the authorities’ focus on repressive measures is not the right way. Over the last two years, 1.2 million foreigners came out of the shadow sector of the economy thanks to the introduction of the patent system. It is the path to follow, simultaneously improving the quotas system. “The migrant labor creates 7 to 8 percent of Russia’s GDP. I do not know any expert who would say that we can do without immigrants,” Volokh told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily.

By the way, head of the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) Konstantin Romodanovsky assesses the contribution of migrants into the Russian economy at 50 billion US dollars, which accounts for nearly 8 percent of the country’s GDP. Independent experts present their calculations according to which, a guest worker leaves in Russia 4 to 5 rubles per each ruble he sends abroad. It turns out that even an illegal migrant, secretly working at a construction site, still makes a contribution to Russia’s GDP.

One of the weak links in the fight against illegal labor migration is the employer, interested in a low-paid and deprived of rights employee, First Deputy Director of the RAS Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology Vladimir Zorin believes. The scientist does not rule out that the fight against illegal immigration that has entered an active phase is a populist measure associated with the September elections.

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