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How to legalize illegal aliens?

“Yuzhnyi Kazakhstan”, #71 (18.142), 19/06/2006
E. Efimenko

How to legalize illegal aliens?

   Unemployment is pushing people to leave and go to another in search of work. When crossing the border migrants prefer to go illegally, and because of this they face many problems. They are forced to work seven days a week, unable to miss work for illness, receive very little or even nothing for their work, often work in difficult conditions, without safety regulations being observed, and are denied the opportunity to defend their rights. Their ignorance of the law and their language barrier prevent them from defending their rights. The most common form of rights violations of illegal aliens is a partial or total failure to be paid. This calls for the “hotline” with NGO “Sana Sezim” to be opened with the project “The provision of legal aid to Uzbek migrant workers in Shymkent”. Labor migration in Southern Kazakhstan through illicit channels is a rapidly growing trend.
   59 cases of illegal aliens have been revealed by the state labor inspector during inspections of businesses in the area in the last year. 571 illegal aliens were removed from the area. Employers who have hired them to work usually do not have permission for foreign labor or have fraudulently obtained them from private employment agencies. Such violations were found by A. Yasavi, school number 17, the corporate fund “Incubator SodBi”, the Kazakh-Uzbek University for the Humanities, Chemical-Metallurgical Plant, Taukentskogo Mining and Chemical Combine, FF AB “Aynash-ai”, LLC “Noor”, Bazaar “Zhamalbek kazhy”, and companies “Kayy Intash”, LLC “Turan SKIN” and LLC “Osel Turkistan”. Managers and professionals of these institutions were fined in the amount of 10 to 300, as minimum estimates. According to the law on employment of the population, foreign workers can be held in Kazakhstan in accordance with the quota set by the Ministry of Labor in the allocated areas. The allocation of permits and conditions for the employment of aliens is regulated by the Government of Kazakhstan. This year (and last) in our region there has been a defined quota of 600 foreign workers. Priority is given to the first sectors of the economy, which are beneficial to our region, then foreign organizations, low-budget enterprises engaged in the production field, science and education and, finally, trade and services. The owner must first look for workers in country, and if they do not find any they can contact the Committee on Migration for permission to hire foreign workers. Once these workers start, within three months the owner is obliged to provide the Department of coordination of employment and social programs with a list of people hired. This year, foreigners were legally working in 80 enterprises in the region. The only category for which no permission is given is the low-skilled sector for seasonal work. This is where problems begin.
   In order for a citizen of another state to work here is only possible if there is an intergovernmental working agreement, said the head of the coordination of employment and social programs, Beisov. There is one with us and Kyrgyzstan. The government allocates an annual quota for citizens of this state to do seasonal work; however, this year it was issued in the areas of Almaty and Taraz. We have the same problem with Uzbek migrants. The Government of Uzbekistan has refused to enter into such an agreement, citing the fact that they have no unemployment. In the meantime, more and more of their citizens come to us in search of work. Is there any way out of this situation? One solution to the problem was proposed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev in the March message to the people of Kazakhstan. He gave the order to hold a single action legalizing illegal migrants. The Ministry of the Interior established a working group and preparing a draft law, which allows such an event to be held. Registration of foreign labor will be done by establishing the length of stay in our country and the work of the employer. After the expiration of this the foreign citizen will immediately leave the Republic.
   Meanwhile, the fight against the illegal work force has complications, leading with crime and lack of tax revenue through inspections and penalties. During the first quarter of this year only 30 individuals were convicted and fined for violating the law “On employment of population”, for more than six hundred thousand tenge by officials and legal entities.