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Russia Has 2nd Biggest Migrant Populace After U.S.

A police officer checking the documents of two migrants in the metro. Igor Tabakov

Russia has the second-largest foreign migrant population in the world behind the U.S., according to new UN statistics.

The number of foreign migrants living in Russia reached 11 million this year, or more than 7 percent of the overall population, the United Nations' Economic and Social Affairs Department said Wednesday on its website.

The U.S. currently has the most migrants, 45.8 million, of any country in the world. Germany came in third with 9.8 million, followed by Saudi Arabia with 9.1 million.

The United Arab Emirates and Britain have an estimated 7.8 million migrants each, France has 7.4 million, Canada 7.3 million, while Australia and Spain are each home to 6.5 million migrants.

The number of international migrants across the globe totaled a record 232 million people in 2013, or 3.2 percent of the world population, compared with 175 million in 2000 and 154 million in 1990.

Currently, 72 million migrants reside in Europe, while 71 million live in Asia.

Immigration in Russia was thrust into the spotlight this summer after a police officer was attacked by a group of migrants in a Moscow market in July.

Days later, city authorities initiated a crackdown on illegal migrants, arresting hundreds and putting them in a "tent camp" for processing and possible deportation.

State Duma Deputies Igor Lebedev and Yaroslav Nilov, both of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, introduced a bill in August that would make deportation mandatory for migrants who violate their conditions of stay.

A poll published last month by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center indicated that Russians support tougher measures against migrants who violate the law.

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