The State Duma (Russia’s lower chamber of parliament) has passed a bill in its first reading that grants police the authority to make decisions on administrative expulsion of foreign citizens and stateless persons from Russia.  Currently, only courts or the border service can make such decisions if a foreigner commits an offense upon entry into the country.

TASS says the legislative initiative's authors include representatives from all Duma factions, such as Dmitry Vyatkin, the first deputy head of the United Russia faction, and Konstantin Zatulin, the first deputy chairman of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration, and Relations with Compatriots (United Russia).

The explanatory note to the document states that the project aims to unify deportation mechanisms.  The authors pointed out that current legislation effectively contains two overlapping systems for deportation of foreign citizens from Russia.  Police officers draw up protocols for administrative offenses, which lead to administrative expulsion ordered by courts.  Bailiffs carry out the expulsion.  Meanwhile, the internal affairs bodies carry out deportation, which is “similar to administrative expulsion in terms of categories of individuals, grounds, and consequences but is executed extrajudicially by decisions of the internal affairs bodies.”

It is noted that until administrative expulsion and deportation are enforced, foreigners are held in special detention facilities of the internal affairs bodies.

"The bill aims to unify deportation and administrative expulsion mechanisms for foreign citizens and to concentrate the powers of expulsion with the internal affairs bodies (police).  This innovation will reduce time and financial costs associated with transporting foreign citizens to courts and will allow for the prompt removal of foreign citizens who have violated Russian law,” the note states.

Additionally, the bill proposes introducing a “deportation regime” for foreigners who have been ordered to be expelled or whose residence permits in Russia have been annulled but who are still in the country.  Foreigners under this regime will be listed in a register of monitored individuals, facing additional restrictions and control measures.

Migrants under the deportation regime will be prohibited from purchasing real estate and vehicles, driving cars, taking out loans, moving freely across Russia, getting married, opening new bank accounts, and spending more than 30,000 rubles per month from existing accounts.  They will be required to inform the police of their whereabouts, including sending photos with geolocation tags, and report the date, place, and route of their self-departure from Russia. Repeated violations of these control requirements will result in deportation.

The bill also proposes reducing the period of temporary (visa-free) stay to 90 days within a year. Currently, foreigners arriving without a visa can stay in Russia for 90 days within each 180-day period.


1500 Migrants to be deported from Moscow oblast

Meanwhile, The Moscow Times says the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs announced one of the largest deportations of illegal migrants in the Moscow oblast. More than 1,500 migrants will be deported following a raid in the Moscow region from June 3 to 9, conducted as part of Operation "Illegal," according to the regional police department. The decisions have already been made by the courts, the department clarified.

This deportation is one of the largest, with the Moscow police department reporting on June 14 that over four months, courts had ordered the expulsion of more than 2,000 violators of migration laws living in Moscow.  During this period, police inspected about 6,000 locations in the capital, including hotels, dormitories, hostels, industrial enterprises, construction sites, and residential areas.

Raids targeting illegal migrants have intensified following the terrorist attack on Krasnogrosk's Crocus City Hall on March 22, which claimed the lives of 145 people.  Tajik citizens were detained on suspicion of committing the crime, sparking anti-migrant sentiments in Russian society.


Tajiks denied entry to Moscow

The Central Asian News Service reports that Russian special services have denied entry to Tajik citizens at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport.  From June 14, over 30 Tajik citizens arriving from Dushanbe were held in the border control zone for three days.  Some of them were called a “headache” for Russia.  Among those stranded were women and children.

Asia-Plus reached out to relevant authorities (the Migration Service of the Ministry of Labor, Tajikistan’s Embassy in Moscow, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan) for comments, but as of the evening of June 18, no information was available.