Russian experts call for amnesty for labour migrants

photo from the news agency
The Russian foundation Migration of the 21st Century is developing recommendations for the Russian government regarding new policy migration principles, which also includes amnesty for 5-10 million guest workers.

The head of the forum of migration organisations, Lidiya Grafova, has said that a number of provisions that are being drafted based on the work of a number of experts will be submitted to the Russian government.

These recommendations, among other things, provide for the so-called “migration amnesty” for 5-10 million migrants from former Soviet countries who have lived in Russia for a long time and are willing to become citizens of this country.

“This measure has already been brewing up. By experts’ estimates, Russia numbers from two to 12 million migrants. And no matter what they are called, they have to be reckoned with and it is just necessary to do something with this,” Grafova told,

The foundation president, a former deputy head of the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS), Vyacheslav Postavnin, has said in an interview with the Russian service of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that amnesty will make it possible, first of all, to get a more or less clear picture of how many migrants live in Russia in total.

In the future, they will be helped out from “powerlessness into the legal framework”, in other words, they will be protected by law. And, finally, amnesty will help to make migrants pay taxes.

“We estimate that we receive about 400 billion roubles (over 13 billion dollars) less we can annually,” Postavnin said about losses incurred because of illegal migration.

One can trust these figures of losses from illegal migration considering the fact that, for example, last year Uzbek labour migrants alone sent about five billion dollars to Uzbekistan from abroad, mainly in Russia.

For its part, Russia’s FMS does not consider that the new programme is necessary for the country.

Members of the service staff believe that the existing system is quite able to resolve their task and is aimed not at naturalising migrants but at controlling their number in the country depending on economic interests.

At the same time, former FMS officer Konstantin Poltoranin have repeatedly told the press, for instance, the Russian publication Sovershenno Sekretno [Top Secret], that the current state of affairs of migration is profitable for FMS officials because they can make considerable profits from illegal migrants using front companies.

The Russian society have ambiguously responded to the information about possible migration amnesty.

Results of the survey carried out by the Gydepark social network as regards this show that 50% of those polled speak out against the amnesty whereas only 24/% approve or support this idea without press.