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Russia looks to tighten immigration control
February 13, 2013, 12:02 pm

[Getty Images]

Moscow is a popular destination for migrants. [Getty Images]

Special volunteer patrols will be created in Moscow to help the Federal Migration Service with enforcing immigration control in Russia.

The groups will monitor compliance with immigration laws, legitimacy of migrants’ residence and employment permits and participate in city patrols.

Working with Federal Migration Service officers the volunteers will check documents and detain illegal migrants.

The current number of volunteers stands at 300.

Moscow has traditionally been the most popular city among migrants.

In 2012 the Moscow police and Federal Migration Service detained over 15,000 illegal migrants in the capital.

For Muscovites, migration is increasingly becoming a topical issue, with a growing number of migrants coming to the capital in search of a better life.

Most of them come from impoverished countries in Central Asia – Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan.

The traditional humiliating term for migrants in Russian is “gastarbeiters”.

Many migrants in Moscow clean the streets, work on construction sites and as unlicensed taxi drivers.

It is hard to estimate the actual number of migrants in Moscow, according to official statistics there are over 3.5 million migrants in Russia and a quarter of them are based in Moscow.

However, Central Asian immigrants are off the migration services’ radar.

Daria Chernyshova