[JURIST] New rules intended to combat illegal immigration [JURIST news archive] went into force in Russia [JURIST news archive] Monday. The rules set harsher penalties for businesses that employ illegal migrants, restrict border crossings, amend the Criminal Code, limit the duration of visas distributed to certain nationalities, and increase reporting requirements [Voice of Russia press release] to the Russian Federal Migration Service [official website, in Russian] for employers. Meanwhile, officials have simplified protocols for citizens of most former Soviet republics seeking the rights to live and work in Russia.
In October Russian President Vladimir Putin [official profile] called for [speech text, JURIST report] tougher measures to crack down on illegal immigrants, prompting Russian immigration officials to propose the stricter migrant provisions. Some experts claim Russia's immigration crackdown is a reaction [BBC report] to ongoing difficulties [RIA Novosti report] with the neighboring Georgian Republic [official backgrounder]. AP has more.