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    5,000,000 FOREIGNERS LIVE IN RUSSIA

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    MOSCOW, March 4 (RIA Novosti) - 5,000,000 foreign citizens live on Russia's territory. 3.5 million out of them don't have a legal status, said deputy interior minister, head of the Federal Migration Service Alexander Chekalin.

    "We are not talking about the necessity of deportation, but we want to help them get legalized," Mr. Chekalin told a Thursday press conference.

    In his words, the situation around the inflow of illegal migrants has been improving lately. Thus, in 2003, organizations applied for labor decisions four times as often as in 2002. Over 4,000 illegal migrants have registered their legal status.

    All this testifies to labor migration going out of the shadow sector. But it's necessary to make tougher laws in regard to illegal migration masterminds, Mr. Chekalin said.

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