Staunton, July 6 – Russian laws governing the rights of immigrants “promotes not their integration but rather their segregation,” a problem that is going to become ever more acute as Moscow uses immigrants to compensate for declining numbers in its domestic population and labor force, according to Anna Prokhorova.
In a new book (An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Immigrant Integration Policies in Russia (in Russian), Moscow, 2017, 109 pp., a complete text of which is available at fergananews.com/archive/2017/Book_Prokhorova.pdf), the demographer who has been working on migration issues for the World Bank lays out the reasons for that conclusion.
Employing the MIPEX integration index that was developed for EU countries, Prokhorova says that immigrants to Russia have vastly fewer rights than Russian citizens and only half as great an opportunity to rise in the labor market as do Russian citizens, the result she says of Russia’s lack of a strategy for integrating immigrants.
What that means, she continues, is that Russia “doesn’t recognize the possibility of transforming such migrants into its own constant residents or citizens.” Instead, it drives them into ghettos, forces them to live in semi-legal conditions, and ultimately drives them out of Russia back to their homelands.
She gives as an example of just how out of step Russia is with European norms. Most immigrants in Europe now are allowed to enter because they have relatives in this or that country. Those relatives need not be citizens, but their application can be the basis for admission. In Russia, such arrangements are lacking: Only citizens can invite relatives to enter.