The Ministry of Internal Affairs still leaves unanswered the request of the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Alexandra Boroday clarify the decision on amnesty for migrants.
In mid-October, the Russian authorities decided to lift the ban on entry for 158 thousand citizens of Uzbekistan and a similar number of citizens of Tajikistan, who were previously banned from entering the Russian Federation due to violation of our legislation. At the same time, it is noted that the granted “migration amnesty” does not apply to those who were expelled from Russia on the basis of court decisions. The decision was made by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. But it became known about him from the message of the Embassy of Uzbekistan. And the law enforcement agency has not yet explained the motivation for its actions.
The news has been actively discussed in the media and social networks for several days. Against the background of the conflicts with representatives of the Central Asian republics, it naturally evokes a warm response. Russian politicians could not help but react.
Press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov rushed to refer the issue to the competent authorities, saying that this situation does not concern the presidential administration. “This is a question for our migration authorities and for the Interior Ministry,” said a Kremlin spokesman.
Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Peter Tolstoy outraged by the decision taken. In his opinion, the talk that “these are our former fellow citizens” who have committed “only” administrative offenses is a deliberate substitution of concepts and a chattering of the problem.
He noted that our former compatriots are people who are close to Russian culture, who respect our traditions and share values. “Those who harass Russian women in public transport are not compatriots, they are ordinary guest workers who did not return to their homeland, but came to Russia to earn money and they think they can do what they want with us,” he said. politician.
The vice-speaker is sure that foreigners who have violated Russian laws “should be quickly deported, and let them have a headache in those countries where they send the money they earn from us.” He also suggested that lobbyists “for the importation of migrants or those wishing to lease Russian lands to hordes of visiting shift workers from Asia” to give up their plans.
The head of the Just Russia – For the Truth faction agrees with him Sergey Mironov, who recalled that the announcement of amnesty is the exclusive prerogative of the State Duma, and no ministry has the right to do so.
“If we wipe our feet about our own legislation and decisions made by the authorities, what conclusions will the same migrants draw, how they will treat such a state and its requirements. Even now they do not feel awe for them, but will simply spit, ”he said.
The parliamentarian considers it absurd that the deputy corps and the public learn about this from the Uzbek embassy, and not from Russian officials. He also said that according to the statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the number of crimes committed by foreign citizens from January to August 2021 increased by 5.9%, amounting to 24.7 thousand, and called on the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsev to understand the situation, and to nip the illegal initiative in the bud.
So should Russia allow the entry of formerly deported citizens of the former Soviet republics, albeit for administrative offenses, and even in such numbers?
Expert of the PRISP Center, Candidate of Historical Sciences Nikolay Ponomarev suggests considering the situation in a different context.
– The presence of migrants in the labor market of Russia is the most important guarantee of ensuring the profit of businessmen in many sectors of the economy. The Russian political establishment has repeatedly demonstrated in practice that for it the interests of big business have a higher priority than the conditions for the existence of the broad masses. In March 2020, the president was asked to change the taxation system for merchandise donations. It is now cheaper for companies to destroy apples or tomatoes than donate them to a fictitious nursing home. However, the head of state did not approve of this initiative. He substantiated his decision by referring to the experience of the beginning of the 2000s. Then the entrepreneurs turned to him with a request to cut off the flow of humanitarian aid from abroad. Their logic was simple: people who receive flour, oil and rice in the form of “humanitarian aid” get rid of the need to purchase goods from “domestic producers”. And the state supported the entrepreneurs. As a result, millions of low-income Russians lost access to humanitarian aid, but their money went to support business.
Elites, whose egoism is not limited to functioning institutional mechanisms, will always act primarily in their own interests. An increase in the flow of migrants will not negatively affect the quality of life of the establishment. On the contrary, it will ensure the maintenance of the usual level of profit for the ruling class of Russia.
“SP”: – Why does the government prefer to follow the path of “migration amnesties” in order to make up for the shortage of workers, instead of more actively attracting residents of Russian regions, where many are unemployed?
– Firstly, migrants are more unpretentious in terms of working conditions and at the same time have less legal protection.
Secondly, the market has already developed a certain system of “division of labor” between migrants and residents of the Russian hinterland. For example, many residents of the regional centers of the Ivanovo region work on a rotational basis as security guards in Moscow and St. Petersburg. And at the same time, migrants dominate the construction industry. When it comes to the “amnesty for guest workers”, it is about protecting the interests of entrepreneurs from resource-intensive industries, primarily construction. They need a habitual labor resource, and in a considerable quantity.
Thirdly, we are faced with a “vicious circle” effect that cuts off significant numbers of Russians from work in many segments of the economy. Again, let’s take the construction industry as an illustrative example. Even having a higher education in a specialty does not guarantee a person a job opportunity. Without work experience or recommendations from friends or relatives, he is unlikely to be hired on a construction site. Many Russians have to undergo free internships for many months in order to accumulate the necessary experience. What do we end up with? There is already a well-known and familiar to the employer labor force in the person of migrants, and a new human resource, the quality of which is in question. It is quite natural that a businessman chooses migrants in the end.
SP: – How can such a migration policy affect the demography and ethnic composition of Russia?
– Such a policy will inevitably contribute to a change in the ethnic and confessional structure of the population of megalopolises, but at the same time will have little effect on the state of affairs in degrading industrial centers at the regional level.
“SP”: – Europe has already faced a migration crisis. Why does Russia not learn from the mistakes of others, after all, this can lead to a social explosion?
– Because the current situation is not perceived by the elites as a source of threat. Migrants do not create problems for the conditional “inhabitants of Rublyovka”. And the bulk of the population is perceived by the establishment as a community characterized by an inability to self-organize, malleability to manipulation and patience.
In addition, it would be a mistake to argue that interethnic and interfaith conflicts in Russia are generated primarily by the presence of migrants. The most acute conflicts arise most often in the process of clashes between representatives of the indigenous peoples of Russia. And the Kremlin understands this very well.
Finally, one should not forget about the functional imbalance in Russia’s foreign and domestic policy. Representatives of our establishment are deeply convinced that any problems can be solved through negotiations with the elites of the opposite side, or by bribery.