$1,000 Entry Fee for Immigrants Proposed in Duma

The Federal Migration Service is skeptical about State Duma plans obliging migrants entering Russia without a visa to acquire a 30,000 ruble ($900) promissory note guaranteeing that they can pay for their own deportation.

"The idea is interesting and needs to be investigated, but the question is whether foreigners who come to work for us will be able to pay the amount," a spokesperson for the service told Interfax.

There is also concern over the possibility of other countries imposing the same measures on Russian citizens.

State Duma deputies Alexei Zhuravlev and Sergei Zhigarev proposed the bill on Monday as a means to ensure that migrants will not be a burden on taxpayers, Kommersant reported Monday.

"As an undisputed financial obligation, the promissory note must be paid upon departure of the foreign citizen from Russia," the proposed bill states.

One migrant deportation costs the state about 30,000-40,000 rubles, the deputies said.

However, deportation fees for foreign nationals are mostly covered by revenues generated from fines for migration law violations, and not by taxpayers.

"Deportation is primarily paid for by the offender, secondly, by the employer and only thirdly, public funds are spent," an unnamed source said.

The authors of the proposed legislation believe that it will reduce the crime situation and will increase Russia's budget by 225 billion rubles ($7 billion), as well as helping to "preserve the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation," Lenta.ru reported.

The lawmakers point out that deportations are on the rise, amounting to over 35,000 people in 2012, compared to 28,000 in 2011.

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