Foreign migration is one of the top issues that Russia is dealing with today. Over 10 million labor migrants enter Russia annually without proper visas, the majority of them coming from Central Asia that used to be under Soviet rule. Many of these foreign workers live in conditions that some would consider bad conditions, sleeping in basements and overcrowded apartments.
Many violent xenophobic hate groups have formed with the foreign workers’ presence, accusing them of stealing Russian jobs and forming ethnic gangs. These groups are killing and beating non-Slavic people as well as anti-racism activists. The fact that the immigrants are “taking their jobs” is not the real issue, according to Russia’s President, it is the fact that these workers are experiencing abuses, low payment and enslavement.
Vladamir Putin, Russia’s President and nominee in the current Presidential elections, states that people who enter the country and violate immigration and labor laws should be barred from reentering the country for up to 10 years. Out of the 10 million foreign workers in Russia, only about 4 million work legally. Putin also said that in order to further prevent these issues, more extreme penalties need to be put in place against those who break the nation’s laws by failing to register for work permits and on companies who profit by hiring them, instead of just issuing fines.
Violence and worker exploitation is the result of not only slack laws that are in place to enforce others but also ethnic and cultural clashes and ethnocentrism. Violent gangs are committing hate crimes against the other ethnic groups and their supporters and are killing them. The laws in place for legal immigration are not being enforced and other laws need to be set to protect the rights of these workers. So, the pros in this situation are the new laws that Putin is promoting to put in place to protect the rights of the foreign migrants as well as the Russian people who are also being affected, even harmed and killed, due to the violence against the foreigners.
The country’s unemployment is at a low 7 percent, so by regulating the foreign migrants and kicking illegal one’s out is going to allow more job opportunities for Russian nationals. The new laws may also promote patriotism amongst the Russian community as well as decrease the crime rate. However, even though this issue will be regulated, legal foreign migrants will still live in the country, so the crime and violence against them may not be stopped completely.
Also, strict laws, such as the ones Putin is promoting, can been seen as too strict and can cause less migration which can lead to less production and wealth for the economy in the future and it can even break the state’s international ties with other nations who send their students and laborers to Russia through special programs. This is a messy issue Russia is dealing with and the solutions presented by the President can both help and hurt the country. Their economy and society needs a hard looking at as well as some major readjustments.