A legislative initiative on this idea proposed by Moscow City Duma deputy Yury Popov is to be examined at the city legislature on Wednesday.
Up to a million illegal immigrants arrive in Moscow every year. Most are from the Commonwealth of Independent States. However, the legally established procedure for registering them, particularly migration cards, precludes the possibility of monitoring what the person does on Russian territory.
Popov says that the fingerprinting procedure will reduce the inflow of illegals and help cope with high crime rates. "One crime in two in Moscow is committed by newcomers, mainly citizens of Ukraine," the deputy said.
Popov said that technically re-equipping the security services and police would cost about 1.5 billion rubles ($52.48 million). But the actual cost of the project, as estimated by Vladimir Novitsky, the president of the Russian section of the International Society for Human Rights, may be as high as $1.5 billion.
Inna Svyatenko, the chairman of the Moscow City Duma's security commission, said she thought that the new procedure was humiliating and would not help tackle crime, but would only lead to a new spiral in corruption. "Today it takes just a few hours to make migration cards in the back streets," she said. "No one will prevent the makers from adding fingerprints to the cards."
The paper wrote it was pointless to subject all the capital's guests to the humiliating procedure to find one or two criminals. Some experts said that even migration cards failed to solve problems, but at the same time violated basic human rights and involved tremendous spending on maintaining the appropriate structures.
However, Popov sees nothing humiliating in the fingerprinting procedure. He asked rhetorically: "We do not consider it humiliating to get photographed for our papers, do we?"