MOSCOW, October 31 (RAPSI) – A group of Russian lawmakers from the ruling United Russia party has proposed canceling the work permits of foreigners convicted of crimes of any sort, an author of the initiative told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
Igor Igoshin said proposed amendments to the law submitted to the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, would also ban the reissuing of work permits for immigrants convicted of crimes.
At present, only foreigners who have committed crimes classified as serious are banned from working in Russia.
A dwindling domestic labor force and economic growth driven by revenues from oil exports have attracted millions of labor migrants to Russia, many of them from the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. Some 11.3 million foreigners entered Russia this year, of whom 3 million work illegally, the Federal Migration Service said in late July.
Igoshin said migration was one of the most contentious issues for Russian society right now.
His comments came in the wake of the latest flare-up of anti-migrant sentiment in Russia.
Earlier this month, nationalist-led protesters clashed with police in the Moscow suburb of Biryulyovo after a local man was fatally stabbed by an individual that police later identified as an Azerbaijani immigrant.
The riots were followed by sweeping police checks and arrests of migrant workers across the capital.