Russia has the world's largest number of illegal migrants, accounting for almost seven percent of the country's working population, according to a report by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The 2012 International Migration Outlook said 960,000 temporary labourer migrants came to Russia in 2010, more than twice as many as those entering the US. Former Soviet states remained the main migration sources for Russia with 28,000 people arriving from Kazakhstan, 27,500 from Ukraine and 24,000 Uzbek nationals arriving in Russia, according to the report.
The share of the legal migrant workers residing in Russia stands at 2.5 percent of the country's estimated working population of 75 million people, while illegal migrants make up for seven percent. The US has an illegal migrant population estimated at 3.5 percent of the workforce, the report said. Russia's dependence on unskilled labour will only grow over the next eight years, with the working-age population forecast to decrease by seven million people by 2020, the report said.
In January, Russian President and then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed an array of robust measures, including stiff laws, to deal with illegal migration. He called for the expulsion and banning of migration law-breakers for five to 10 years or longer from re-entering Russia.
He also proposed legal proceedings against the owners of "rubber homes" where migrants register illegally, and criminal proceedings for those who take on illegal migrants at work and organise illegal housing. Putin also proposed making exams in Russian history and the basics of Russian law mandatory for migrants from 2013, which should, in his opinion, help them adapt to Russian society.
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