Central Asians Push Russia on Worsening Migration Policies

The Central Asian region is facing increased pressure from Russia following a deadly attack on a concert hall near Moscow. The crackdown on migrant populations from countries like Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan has prompted concerns about the future of these communities in Russia.

After 11 Tajik men were arrested for their alleged involvement in the attack that left 144 people dead, calls for tougher migration rules have escalated. The passing of a draft law that could expand police powers over guest workers has raised alarm among migrant rights advocates.

The proposed amendments to the migration legislation would require guest workers to sign a “loyalty agreement” and create a “registry of controlled persons” that allows for extrajudicial house arrests. This legislation has been criticized for its discriminatory nature and potential for abuse by the authorities.

While Russia’s Interior Ministry defends the amendments as necessary for security reasons, countries like Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan are expressing concerns about the impact on their migrant populations. With billions of dollars in annual remittances from Russia supporting millions of families in these countries, any changes to migration policies could have severe economic consequences.

Despite reassurances from Russian officials, the growing restrictions on migrants entering Russia are causing tension in the region. Leaders of Central Asian countries are seeking relief from Moscow, but it remains to be seen whether the Russian government will reconsider its hardline approach to migration.

As the debate rages on, the future of Central Asian migrants in Russia hangs in the balance. With livelihoods at stake, governments of the region are urging their ally to consider the human cost of their migration policies and work towards a more inclusive and compassionate approach.



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