Russia’s migration authorities have announced plans to organize patrols of busy transportation nodes in Moscow as part of a campaign to clamp down on unregistered foreign residents.
In Kyrgyzstan, meanwhile, authorities are pushing ahead with efforts to get as many people off Russia’s migration blacklist to ensure as many migrant laborers as possible can leave the country in search of much-needed earnings.
The Federal Migration Service in Russia said in a statement on March 31 that their inspectors will be parked near metro stations in cars equipped with complete databases of foreigners with proper permits.
“It will be possible to use them to run complete checks of foreign citizens on the FMS database, including to establish whether they are in Russia legally. The cars will also be equipped with scanners for fingerprint registration,” the statement said.
Authorities are casting the initiative as one intended to enlighten foreign residents, particularly migrant laborers, about residency rules.
“During the checks, foreign citizens will be able to speak directly to representatives of the migration service, ask them questions and receive first-hand information about things like registration of work permits at migration centers in Moscow and Moscow region,” the FMS statement said.
Whether this is likely to put an end to the regular sight of Moscow police targeting unregistered (and registered) migrant laborers for bribes remains to be seen.
Russia’s economic decline is concentrating thoughts on the need to address the issue of illegal migration, which creates much ill-will among the most deprived sections of the population.
In order to mitigate the scale of unregulated migration, Russian authorities have long relied on blacklists of foreigners denied entry into the country. Violating migration rules or breaking other laws typically serves as ground for being inclusion on the list.
With its entry into the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union las year, Kyrgyzstan has hoped to see the number of its own citizens barred from going to Russia sharply reduced.
Kyrgyzstan’s State Migration Service on March 31 said the number of Kyrgyz citizens has accordingly dropped from 190,000 at the start of 2015 to 118,000 by the year’s end.
The migration service said that another 3,000 people have sought help from the government in the first quarter of 2016 to have their names removed too. An online application procedure has been created for other wanting to put their name on the waiting list.
“The Russian Federal Migration Service has received 1,487 applications from citizens of Kyrgyzstan. At the moment, those requests are being reviewed by the FMS,” the Kyrgyz migration service said.