Amnesty for illegals, this time in Russia

Russia’s Federal Immigration Service has suggested that one million illegal immigrants be granted residence rights in 2006. Most of these people, I assume, come from former Soviet Republics.

According to a recent opinion poll, however, 59% of Russians would like the government to “attempt to limit the flow of newcomers.” About half want to keep out natives of the Caucausus; over 40% prefer not to let Chinese and Vietmese nationals to settle in Russia. Russians are more tolerant to natives of Central Asia (only 31% object to their influx) and, oddly, Gypsies (30%). Only 18% are against the settlement of Jews (perhaps tens of thousands of USSR-born Israelis have returned recently but I doubt many Russians are even aware of that); just 8% want to keep out Ukrainians.

Unfortunately, the Russian government adopted a naturalization policy a few years ago that does not even discriminate between CIS and non-CIS citizens, let alone make finer distinctions among applicants. Descendants of native Russians (who may be ethnically Russian, Tatar, German, etc.) have no priority over applicants with no Russian roots whatever.

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