Foreign workers who are in a country without legal status have been given a chance to legalize, but oh, how difficult it is to do...
Foreign workers who are in Russia without documents got a chance to legalize. The regions were asked to remove the absurd obstacles that prevent Russia from becoming attractive to the visiting labor force. Novye Izvestia took a closer look at the effectiveness of the new measures.
Labor reserve from the silo
An ordinary incident from the report of the Kaluga regional department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs: on August 5, during a police check on a farm in the Zhukovsky district, 14 migrants from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan were found. Foreigners grew cucumbers, zucchini and greens without patents to work in the region. Fines were issued in the amount of 2,000 rubles for each. An employer who illegally uses the labor of foreign workers faces a large fine - up to 800 thousand rubles for each illegal agricultural worker.
I have old acquaintances in those parts - illegal immigrants from near Khadzhent, who did not let the former collective farm "Ilyich's Testaments" disappear, where the chairman (also former), and according to the current slave-owner is Viktor Stepanovich Zhuikov. How is he? Not ravaged by fines for illegal labor? I'm calling.
- As long as God had mercy, - Viktor Stepanovich replies. - You don't need to teach mine - a little danger, they hide in such darkness, a cockroach, I can't find them myself.
Let's go. The village has really died out, there is no one on the farm, only Lyuba, a distant relative of Stepanich, is fumbling with cans.
“Wait, they will be there at twelve”, - says Lyuba, as if not five years had passed, but two days since we parted. “I’m surprised at them: no one has a watch, but by lunchtime they are like a bayonet and are always a pile. Do they smell it by smell? - Lyuba probably didn't think about smartphones. She does not have such a phone, and the first thing the workers buy is to call home, talk with fellow countrymen: the Khadzhent village supplies personnel throughout Russia.
At twelve, everyone materialized. Soso and Dodo - from the cowshed, Stepanich and Zufar drove up from the field. There was no fourth - Mirzo.
“He's sick”, - Zufar explained reluctantly. - I went to Moscow, hesitated".
Word by word it turns out that Mirzo wanted a better life, asked the boss for a day off and went to his relatives. Relatives - three cousins and four second cousins - boasted that they had settled well - they were kneading concrete at a construction site, the salary was 40 thousand, and they were living in trailers. So Mirzo was seduced, took money from the stash and rushed to the capital. They didn't even have time to embrace with relatives - the FMS flew in: documents were checked, people were grabbed, things were turned over.
- They tell him: go to the bus yourself. He walked, and then, as he rushed to the forest, they did not run after him. Until the night I sat in the pit, lost my shoe, does not remember how I got home, says his friend Zufar.
Kaluga Region is not the capital. There are raids, but the authorities always warn about FMS raids, you can hide in a silo pit. The farmer has no money to register illegal immigrants as it should be, and there is no place to register them, and to pay 800 thousand rubles a fine for each - in general, you will be left without pants. Tajiks suspect that the FMS knows about their refuge, but does not touch it, because it is in the position of a poor economy, where there are only 7 workers, 4 of them are guest workers. Although to my acquaintances, the collective farm does not seem so poor. For example, they have a normal salary - 100,000 at the end of the year, when the harvest is sold. The money is sent home to Tajikistan. The farmer gives them 2 thousand a month for a living. Enough: the bread is cheap, the overalls are free, the bosses are not greedy - when a cow is slaughtered, they give meat. They chewed bread with Lyubkina's porridge and went about their business. Stepanych and I remained to discuss migration policy.
- There is no migration policy in the country, - the interlocutor cuts off the shoulder. - There is an imitation of activity. - What do we have? There are seven Fridays in one week.
When asked why our people do not go to farm vacancies, the farmer made indestructible arguments.
- Several years ago an idea was born in Moscow - to return to their homeland compatriots from former Soviet republics. The Kaluga region received an order - to accept 36 thousand people. - Formally, there are not enough milkmaids, cattlemen, tractor drivers in the agricultural sector, - says Zhuikov . - And what can we offer visitors? Most farms do not have housing, and wages are tiny. We want to invite the most literate, the most qualified. They will not go to our conditions. To me, however, they asked. Some asked first of all: will you give a cottage? Well, yes, I did nothing but save empty cottages for them. The second question from the "applicants": how many kilometers to Moscow, and then the daughter is a student, wife is an actress and mother-in-law is not a step without culture. Well, it is clear that they need the collective farm as a transshipment point. I put aside this business, and at my own peril and risk I took "Asians" who desperately need work and at least some kind of earnings. So far I have not made a mistake in anyone - we are breaking up, we are cultivating a thousand hectares and keeping a cow...
Macroeconomics of labor migration
It was seven Fridays last week. First, President Putin called for making it easier for labor migrants to obtain Russian citizenship. Two days later, the idea to complicate the procedures for granting migrants the right to work in Russia was made by the deputy. Head of the Security Council Medvedev . The complication, in his opinion, should be to "impose on the employer unequivocal confirmation of the employment of newcomers". The business did not delay with the answer. Deputy Before the Growth Party, Sergei Dyomin said that the country could not do without attracting foreign labor, but to be responsible for migrants: register, resettle, monitor behavior - no. As well as opening the salaries of guest workers and your cash at the expense of non-payment of tax and insurance deductions to the state from the earnings of shadow workers.
According to political analyst Andrei Savelyev , employers and officials contribute to the influx of unaccounted migrant workers in order to keep salaries low and generate additional profits. This crafty political economy, firstly, distorts the assessment of the contribution of migrants to the Russian economy, and secondly, it has negative consequences for the state budget.
According to the RANEPA research center, due to the use of shadow foreign labor by entrepreneurs from the country's budget in 2016, an additional 3 billion rubles were spent on the deportation of 55 thousand illegal migrants. The maintenance of one inmate costs half a million rubles a year (in 2017, more than 29 thousand migrants were serving sentences in Russian prisons; expenses -14 billion rubles). The maintenance of 80 migration centers costs 16 billion rubles a year. And this is without taking into account the additional costs of medical care and education for the children of migrant workers (in Moscow alone, 25 thousand foreign students - minus 3 billion rubles).
Migrants in Russia do not spend money, but send it home. The amount of official money transfers of individuals from Russia to the CIS countries, according to the Central Bank for the last year, amounted to $ 11.898 billion. The largest recipient was Uzbekistan ( $ 4.082 billion ). According to official data, outside Uzbekistan, which has a population of 33 million people, about 20% of the working-age population constantly work, and 85% of them work in Russia. "Silver" went to the citizens of Tajikistan, who sent home $ 2.553 billion , and the "bronze" from the Kyrgyz - $ 2.4 billion.
“It would be more profitable for Russia if migrants spend their money here, and not send it abroad,” says economist Mikhail Delyagin . In crises like the current coronavirus, this theory visits many liberal minds. What's interesting: the usual groans of the expert community that newcomers are taking away jobs from Russians flared up and very quickly faded away. Although, it would seem, it should be different: the coronavirus left hundreds of thousands of Russians unemployed and severely limited the influx of migrants into the country. It turns out, hurray! - Will there be vacancies for the dismissed Russians?
“I would not be in a hurry with optimism”, - Alexander Solovyaninov, associate professor at the Academy of Management under the Government of the Russian Federation, told NI. - Our labor market can lose up to 2.5 million people. And they cannot be replaced by domestic workers. Migrants work in places where wages are low, overexploitation, and unbearable working conditions. And plus to this, the requirement of absolute obedience. No matter what they say, but a Russian will not work on such conditions.
Even now, our employment services are full of low-paid vacancies, about a million, and no one goes to them. There is even a recruiting company in Moscow - Jamshuting LLC - which specializes in such vacancies that are not in demand among Russians. In the “hire” section on her website, you can select Kyrgyz, Uzbeks or Tajiks for the positions of loaders, handymen and excavators. I have never heard that one of ours competed, for example, for "carrying production forms with concrete" with a 6/1 work schedule; with two meals a day and accommodation in a construction trailer. Even with a very decent promised salary - 50 thousand a month. We will not discuss that at best it will be halved, at worst it will not be given away at all. Unfortunately, without formalizing labor relations, this has become the norm in the market for migrants.
Where do migrants come from in the regions?
No one has exact data on how many of them live, for example, in the Kaluga region - neither the authorities, nor the FMS, nor the police. There are none in Russia either. According to experts' estimates, 6-7 million people from the CIS are working in our country. Politicians and officials, when it suits them, talk about 15 million. In December last year, in response to persistent questions from journalists, the head of the Federal Migration Service released the data of his department, based on migration cards filled in at legal border crossing, - 10.3 million foreign citizens. The flaw in these calculations is that they do not divide foreigners into students, business travelers, and actually those who go to Russia to look for work. Only 2.5 million people voluntarily stated this in the “purpose of the visit” column. Most often, they simply write "tourism".
It should also be borne in mind that many more "tourists" from Central Asia travel to Russia not by rail, which has now become too expensive, but by buses, crossing three or four borders along the way. Several years ago, the correspondent of Novye Izvestia saw with her own eyes the end of the Tajiks' journey, when 200 half-corpses were pulled out of a bus, designed for 50 people. By the way, it was at the transshipment point in Zheleznogorsk that Zhuikov picked up two half-dead workers, fed them, they got used to it, and then they called a dozen more of their neighbors to the good uncle, some stayed with him for a year or two, and then found other bread places.
“No one has returned home to Tajikistan”, - Zufar, an old resident of the Zhuikovo farm, told the reporter. - At home we have no economy at all, the salary is one and a half dollars a month if you find a job. And here, after all, Russia...
“There is no work in Central Asia,” Kyrgyz political analyst Arsen Usenov confirmed to NI. - Everyone who was forced to return home due to the coronavirus was convinced of this. I don’t think they will have problems with finding a job, since many left with an agreement to keep their jobs. ” Driving from home and terrifying, according to him, the coronavirus situation in the republics - there is nothing to treat and nowhere, so the leaders either keep silent about the epidemic, or fantasize that the country does not submit to viruses because of the amazing immunity of local residents.
When hunger is worse than coronavirus
Meanwhile, for the Tajik authorities, initially, the main threat was not the coronavirus, but hunger, which could be provoked by the closure of borders. The number of remittances from Russia to Tajikistan fell by 50% in April, forcing Dushanbe to ask the IMF for a loan of $ 190 million. To fight COVID-19, Uzbekistan has collected over a billion dollars in loans. At the same time, about 498 thousand labor migrants came home. About 2.5 million people remained abroad.
"In fact, very few people returned home", - Renat Karimov, chairman of the central committee of the Migrant Workers' Union, told reporters. "The queue was huge and the charter was not going well." The most intimate thing that gnaws at the heart of almost every migrant is that after jointly experienced difficulties, Russia is simply obliged to open its arms to them. Here is Zufar, a guest worker of a farmer Zhuikov, who simply asked a Moscow correspondent: “Will they give you a passport for sure? Putin promised. Do you think he won't deceive?"
I don’t know how adequately the president’s recent statement on the simplified procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship was perceived, but the excitement on migrant websites is simply wild. Everyone asks each other: “When? Who? " They blast their own embassies that they do not make lists and do not know anything about it at all. Some of them write statements to the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, who recently said that Moscow needs "about 2 million migrants", but with the condition "working and living in the capital on a legal basis." So here I am - legal, living, - walk around, Sergei Semenovich, about the passport.
Muscovites, already dissatisfied with the dominance of guest workers in the capital, are shocked that the mayor is ready to put another 2 million migrants on their heads.
According to opinion polls, which have remained practically unchanged for the past five years, 68% of the capital's residents would like to limit the flow of visitors, and only 24% are in favor of not putting administrative barriers in the way of this flow and trying to use it for the good of Russia.
Scientists of the Center for the Study of Interethnic Relations of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Irina Subbotina and Lyubov Ostapenko, based on the results of the last population census, outlined the centers of possible formation of ethnic enclaves in the districts of Moscow. Here's what happened: Kurkino 24.5% of visitors; North Tushino -24.2%, South Tushino - 21.5%; Fili-Davydkovo, Ramenki and Mozhaisky - from 27.5 to 32.3%; Veshnyaks - 41.8% (Azerbaijanis are 5 times more than the Moscow average, Tajiks - 6 times, Uzbeks - 12 times). According to the reports of incidents, it is in these "enclaves" that clashes with the local population most often occur and all kinds of emergencies occur among migrants. But when an imaginary Russian passport loomed on the horizon, everything was forgotten - Moscow xenophobia, constant humiliation, deception with salaries, the inability of a "non-Slavic person" to rent a normal apartment, police raids, violation of rights...
The human rights activist and moderator of the group “We, Migrants” in the FB Valentina Chupik gives a shock to her overly divorced brethren: “Russian migrants strive to obtain Russian citizenship in the naive belief that in this way they can get rid of discrimination, not realizing that the Russian passport is only will strengthen, and they are taking these passports right and left".
“Our human rights center receives information about 30-35 detainees per day,” says Valentina Chupik. - The raids, as a rule, are not motivated by anything - there were no signals about incidents, and the whole “crime” of migrants is that they are migrants - intimidated, unrequited and disenfranchised. Why not mutilate people for this and at the same time dissolve them for money? The monstrous incident occurred on April 15, the day of a mass check of digital passes in Moscow. They detained 60 thousand migrants at once, pulling people of non-Slavic appearance out of the crowd. And this is in the midst of the coronavirus ... People have lost their jobs, there is nothing to eat, they cannot go home, and they also cut the last wool from them. What kind of liberalization in migration policy can we talk about if it leaves the whole army of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Federal Migration Service without "earnings"?
Valentina Chupik: I think - to learn European languages and go to a place where you can be a legal migrant and meet corruption and discrimination much less often
It seems like a wonderful way out. There is one BUT. Are their countries ready for mass training of citizens in foreign languages with subsequent employment in Europe?
“We don't have anything like that”, - Alik, the owner of a cafe for Kyrgyz migrants in the Vykhino metropolitan area and a third-generation migrant himself, told NI. - What English? Which French? - Young people already do not understand Russian well, there is nowhere to study, schools are closed. If you want to get smart, go to Moscow, they don't wait anywhere else.
There is also such a fact: since the beginning of the 90s, a whole generation of foreign youth has grown up in Moscow, practically excluded from life - they have torn away from their homeland, and have not become related to Russia.
“The fate of these restless people worries most of all”, - Renat Jafarov, an expert of the labor migrants' trade union , told Novy Izvestia. “They are disastrously illiterate, inept and just as disastrously powerless. The horror is that in the coming years, when the older generation of migrants by age will stop working, Russia will be flooded with just such a contingent not adapted to anything. Moscow opens vocational schools and FZO schools in the republics, but there are very few of them, they are not able to prepare a sufficient labor resource. The republics themselves must attend to the professional training of young people, but this is not happening. And what is the absence of a normal migration policy on both sides? This is poverty and another round of ethnic strife.
In short, Europe can breathe out - in the near future, the invasion of guest workers from the post-Soviet republics is not expected. All labor migrants, where they were, will remain there - in Russia.
Maria Arkhipova , Chairperson of the Russian Bar Association for Human Rights:
- Currently, due to the coronavirus and the depreciation of the ruble against the dollar, there has been a sharp outflow of migrants from Russia. Those migrants who left for home at the end of 2019 were never able to return to Russia through closed borders. The remaining migrants insist on prices in relation to the dollar 30 rubles, that is, the price for their work should be at least twice as high, while the quality of work is extremely low, as well as the qualifications of workers compared to Russian workers. The asymmetry of the market is obvious after the winter departure of specialists and the inability to return to Russia due to the coronavirus. The migrants who have left consider Russia already unattractive and one can often hear that they choose other countries - Turkey, Arab countries, Europe and the United States due to the dollar exchange rate. They consider Russia unprofitable from the point of view of its economy and their own pockets. Currently, there is no migration problem as such, because there is simply no one to take away jobs from Russians. Russians just now have the opportunity to enter the market and fill the resulting vacuum after the outflow of migrants.
However, there are migrants who are focused on making a profit by doing business in Russia and obtaining Russian citizenship. This is a separate category that just requires socialization and support. But we must understand that there is no program for the socialization of migrants in Russia, which leads to national tension. In particular, migrants self-isolate, create separate enclaves and lobby exclusively for their own interests to the detriment of other people. According to the Bar Association, Russia desperately needs a state program to integrate migrants into Russian society and prevent abuse on ethnic grounds.