Thursday, August 1, 2013

Spread-eagled against the wall and marched off single-file: How Russia deals with illegal immigrants

Police officers raided Moscow's Tyoply Stan market yesterday to detain dozens of suspected illegal immigrants.

Russian authorities are currently holding a number of large scale operations to identify those staying in the country illegally so they can be expelled.

After rounding up the men, the police and immigration officers then displayed their no-nonsense approach in front of the cameras.

The men were spreadeagled against a large police bus, with their clothing searched by a police officer.

Others were made to wait, standing with their hands behind their necks as officers looked on.

Eventually, when they were all processed, they were frog-marched single-file onto the bus, each made to hold onto the man in front's shoulders.

The authorities in Russia are currently holding large-scale operations to identify illegal immigrants and expel them from the country.

It is believed that out of 11 million migrants currently living in Russia, four million do so illegally.

They are mostly people from states which used to belong to the former Soviet Union, such as Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Speaking at the beginning of this month, Dmitry Demidenko, from Russian Federal Migration Service, said:

'As of June 28, 2013, 11,193,289 immigrants are living in Russia. And 3.76 million out of the whole number live here illegally.  'We are searching for them and expel from the country as we find them.'


'Caring' Australian Greens want to welcome illegal immigrants -- revealing how far Left they are

The Greens would strip away all deterrents from refugee policy and aim to stop deaths at sea by dramatically increasing Australia's refugee intake and boosting the capacity of the United Nations refugee agency to process claims in Indonesia.

The pre-election policy to be released on Wednesday would also shut down detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island, give work rights to those in the community and lift the ban on people in refugee-producing countries coming directly by air to seek asylum.

It would also appoint an Australian ambassador for refugee protection to help broker a regional co-operation response modelled on the approach of Malcolm Fraser with Vietnamese asylum seekers in the 1970s.

The policy has been criticised by Coalition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison who says it "won't stop the boats". Meanwhile, bad weather had delayed the transfer of the first asylum seekers to Manus Island under the Rudd Government's agreement with Papua New Guinea.

Buoyed by polling showing only one in three voters trusts the major parties to "handle refugees with care", the Greens will market themselves as the only party offering "compassion, legality and the only model for saving refugee lives at sea that has ever really worked".

"If you want to stop the people-smuggling business, you have to undercut it, and that means providing a viable option that does not force refugees into the hands of people smugglers in the first place," says the party's spokeswoman on asylum, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Greens leader Christine Milne will propose a doubling of funding to the United Nations refugee agency to speed up assessment and resettlement of asylum seekers in Indonesia and Malaysia, and a 10,000 increase in Australia's refugee intake. One in three places in the 30,000 program would be set aside for refugees assessed by the UN agency in the region, including at least 3800 in Indonesia.

Senator Milne said the Parliamentary Budget Office has costed an increase in the humanitarian program to 30,000 at $2.5 billion over four years, a fraction of the amount spent on offshore processing.

A Galaxy poll commissioned by the Greens found that almost 50 per cent of voters did not trust either Labor or the Liberals "to put caring for refugees before political interest". The same proportion did not trust either of the major parties to "handle refugees with care".

"Both parties are moving so far to the right, it's difficult to imagine the next level of cruelty they could possibly engage in," Senator Milne told Fairfax Media. "They are bringing shame on Australia in a national and global sense."

Spending an extra $70 million a year to boost the UNHCR's capacity in the region was in line with recommendations of the Gillard government's expert panel and would "take pressure off people feeling like they have no other option than to be on boats".

The policy commits the Greens to restore Australia's migration zone "to match our land and sea territory"; to guarantee legal review and community detention options for refugees who receive adverse ASIO security assessments; and to replace the immigration minister with an independent guardian for unaccompanied children seeking asylum.


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